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Sports >  High school sports

Gonzaga Prep’s Anton Watson makes first cut at USA men’s U18 National Team tryouts

Anton Watson of Gonzaga Prep hits a jump shot against Mt. Spokane on Dec. 5, 2017. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Anton Watson of Gonzaga Prep hits a jump shot against Mt. Spokane on Dec. 5, 2017. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Anton Watson continues to build upon his already impressive basketball resume.

The Gonzaga Prep junior, who has already committed to Gonzaga, was recently invited to participate in the USA Men’s Under-18 National Team tryout camp.

On Sunday, Watson was among a list of 18 finalists to make the initial cut. There were 33 original invitees, including other notable Washington athletes Jaden McDaniel (Federal Way) and Kevin Porter Jr. (Rainier Beach), neither of whom survived the initial cut.

The remaining athletes will continue train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The final, 12-member team will be announced prior to the team’s June 7 departure for the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in St. Catharines, Canada.

The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup. Team USA has won four straight gold medals in the event. USA men’s teams are 53-2 in the FIBA Americas U18 Championships.

“We had 33 guys come here and all 33 competed hard,” said Bill Self, USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach, via press release. “We were all so impressed with how much it meant to all of them. But at the end of the day these 18 were the 18 who stood out the most and are certainly very deserving of the opportunity to continue.”

Watson led G-Prep to an undefeated season (27-0) and a state 4A title as a junior in 2017-18. He was named Greater Spokane League MVP, the Associated Press and Seattle Times all-state boys player of the year and was MVP of the state tournament.

Watson averaged 21.9 points and 8.2 rebounds last season.

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