Jameel Warney and C.J. Williams will suit up for Team USA in the AmeriCup 2017 as part of FIBA’s new Olympic qualifying tournament format. Both played with the Texas Legends last season.
USA Basketball announced its official 12-man roster for 2017 AmeriCup Team. pic.twitter.com/4LAeNUh8X2— 2 Ways & 10 Days (@2Ways10Days) August 22, 2017
This is the first time that the United States will play in the former FIBA Americas tournament since 2007, when the team won gold with what was called the Redeem Team. The U.S. hasn’t had to play in this qualifying round since then, having won every world and Olympic basketball title. However, FIBA’s new qualification system warrants its appearance.
Warney and Williams join a roster full of mostly G League players. Due to AmeriCup’s scheduling, NBA players are not allowed to participate.
Most recently, Warney was a member of the Dallas Mavericks Orlando Pro Summer League roster. Last season, as a member of the Texas Legends, he averaged 17.3 points on 57.6 percent shooting and 8.1 rebounds per game. Warney was also on the Mavericks’ Summer League team and training camp roster in 2016.
Like Warney, Williams also found his way to the Legends via the Mavs’ training camp last year. He averaged 12.8 points on 43.6 percent shooting, including 38.2 from behind the arc, and 4.2 rebounds while appearing in all 50 games for Texas.
With no top-tier talent available for the initial round, which the U.S. doesn’t have to win, Team USA isn’t as dominant as it usually is. However, head coach Jeff Van Gundy admits that’s part of what drew him to coach in the team.
“These guys' careers have not been easy and so I really admire their persistence, their grit and their determination," Van Gundy told the Associated Press. "To get to work with them and coach them, that was part of the pull for me."
Team USA tips off Group C play against Panama on August 28. The United States has never lost to Panama in international competition.