USA Basketball on Monday announced Gophers junior Sam Jacobson is among 16 finalists for the 1997 USA Men’s 22 & Under World Championship Team.
A total of 61 players tried out for the team. The 16 finalists will open training camp in Newport Beach, Calif., on July 8. The team will trim its roster to 12 players on or before July 21. Utah’s Rick Majerus will serve as the team’s head coach.
The International Basketball Federation 22 & Under World Championships will be held Aug. 1-10 in Melbourne, Australia. The 12-team field includes national teams from Australia, Argentina, China, Egypt, Lithuania, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and Yugoslavia.
The U.S. team will leave for Australia on July 21 and play exhibition games against Australia and South Korea before the championships begin. In the inaugural tournament in 1993, the U.S. finished 8-0 to capture the gold.
Jacobson, who averaged 13.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game on the Gophers’ Final Four team last season, is one of six Big Ten players who are finalists to make the team. He joins Purdue’s Chad Austin, Brian Cardinal and Brad Miller, Northwestern’s Evan Eschmeyer and Michigan’s Robert Traylor.
“Competing against the top 60 players in the country and now being selected as one of the top 16 is a good accomplishment,” Jacobson said in a written statement. “I’m proud to play on a U.S. team. I’ve never done this before, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The National Wrestling Coaches Association named Gophers sophomore Tim Hartung to the All-Academic first team. Hartung, an All-American at 190 pounds this season, has a 3.05 GPA in kinesiology.
To be eligible, athletes must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, win at least 60 percent of their matches, place in the top four in their conference meets and qualify for the NCAA championships.
Gophers junior Brandon Paulson and freshman Brandon Eggum were named honorable mention. Minnesota placed 12th in the team standings with a cumulative GPA of 2.939.