Hawes is a finalist

Washington signee Spencer Hawes was one of 16 players to make the cut for the USA Basketball Men's U18 National team, coached by Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar. Hawes and the rest of the USA U18 team will compete in the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Men which is being held in San Antonio from June 28-July 2.

Named as USA Basketball U18 finalists besides Hawes were: Chris Allen (Meadowcreek H.S., Ga./Michigan State); Jerryd Bayless (St. Mary's H.S., Ariz./Undecided; Michael Beasley (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Undecided);
Johnny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S., N.Y./ Syracuse); Drew Gordon (Archbishop Mitty H.S., Calif./Undecided); Donte Greene (Towson Catholic H.S, Md./Syracuse); James Hickson (Wheeler H.S., Ga. /Undecided); Taylor King (Mater Dei H.S., Calif./Duke); Gani Lawal (Norcross H.S., Ga./Georgia Tech); Tajuan Porter (Renaissance H.S., Mich./Oregon); Stanley Robinson (Huffman H.S., Ala./Connecticut); Kyle Singler (South Medford H.S., Ore./Undecided); Nolan Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Duke); DaJuan Summers (McDonogh School, Md./Georgetown); Lance Thomas (St. Benedict's H.S., N.J./Undecided).

The finalists, who are all 18-years-old and younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988), will continue to train in San Antonio over the next week looking to earn a roster spot on the official 12-member USA U18 squad. The 12 players that make up the final USA U18 squad should be announced sometime around June 23rd.

"I thought these trials were great," said USA U18 head coach Lorenzo Romar. "I thought the Committee did a great job of selecting kids that were enthusiastic, kids that were unselfish and consequently it made for a very, very good Trials. "The strength of this group of finalists is versatility. I think we've got size, we've got shooters, we've got ball handlers and scorers, and I think we've got some athletes that will allow us to get into people and pressure the basketball.

"The reduction from 16 to 12 is always a difficult process, you would like to think 12 would separate themselves but that's not always the case. It's very difficult down the stretch because one or two guys always make it very hard. It's tough when you bond together over a week's time and you feel like you've become a family and now you have to ask someone to leave, that's tough, but it's a part of what needs to happen."

"I think the past experience, not only with (the Nike Hoop Summit) but also last summer, I mean I think it's just made me more confident, more comfortable playing in the international style," Hawes said when asked if he felt nervous during the tryout for the team. "Every time you do it you get more acclimated to it and you get more and more confident, so I wouldn't say I was that nervous."

Now that the team trials are over, the team will start training Sunday, June 19th through Tuesday, June 27th in San Antonio. Romar will, at some point during that week, narrow his team down to 12, and those remaining will finish out the week and then roll into tournament action. Their first game will be June 28th against Uruguay. The next night they play the Dominican Republic and then play Brazil the following night. The semifinals and finals for the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will be held July 1st and 2nd.

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