Joe Harris is a finalist for the United States’ World Cup basketball team, USA Basketball announced on Saturday.
The former Virginia star is one of 17 finalists for the 12-man U.S. squad that will compete in the FIBA World Cup in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.
The other finalists are Harrison Barnes (Kings), Marvin Bagley III (Kings), Jaylen Brown (Celtics), De’Aaron Fox (Kings), Kyle Kuzma (Lakers), Brook Lopez (Bucks), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Khris Middleton (Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Mason Plumlee (Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Celtics), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), P.J. Tucker (Rockets), Myles Turner (Pacers), Kemba Walker (Celtics) and Derrick White (Spurs).
This past week, Harris was part of the USA Basketball Select Team that trained with the U.S. National Team during its World Cup training camp in Las Vegas. Harris also participated in the team’s Blue-White Scrimmage on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena, finishing with five points, two rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes of action.
“We have to take a little more ownership of keeping guys off the glass, making sure we get a body every time down,” Harris said after Friday’s scrimmage, “because we are so talented offensively as long as we get the ball and get out in transition we’re going to allow ourselves to get some easy baskets.”
Harris was one four players from the Select Team that made the list of 17 finalists for the U.S. World Cup team, which is coached by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
“We’re bringing a couple of young players from the Select Team so we’re going to be patient with the rest of the squad because we have plenty of time, we have two weeks to decide who will be the final 12,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Men’s National Team managing director. “Forty-eight hours before Game 1 in China is when we have to submit a roster so we want to make sure everyone gets a real shot.
“There’s some things we like about every one of the players but how do we come to 12? We don’t have to make the decision now and we want to give everyone a real shot.”
The 17 finalists will train in Los Angeles from Aug. 13-15 and play an exhibition game against Spain, FIBA’s No. 2 ranked team, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on Aug. 16 at 10 p.m. Eastern.
The U.S. World Cup preparations then head overseas. The squad will train in Melbourne, Australia, from Aug. 19-24 and play a pair of exhibition games against Australia on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24. The U.S. will wrap up its pre-World Cup tour in Sydney, Australia, from Aug. 25-28. The American’s time in Sydney will include an exhibition game against Canada on Aug. 26.