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Gonzaga incoming freshman Anton Watson not picked for final USA U19 World Cup roster

UPDATED: Thu., June 20, 2019

Anton Watson of Gonzaga Prep basketball accepts an award at the 2019 Spokane Youth Sports Awards (SYSA) last week. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Anton Watson of Gonzaga Prep basketball accepts an award at the 2019 Spokane Youth Sports Awards (SYSA) last week. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga incoming freshman Anton Watson’s bid to make the USA U19 World Cup team came up just short.

The Gonzaga Prep standout was one of 18 finalists out of 31 training-camp participants but wasn’t selected for the final 12-man roster announced Thursday.

“It’s been a very, very difficult selection process the last few days,” said U19 coach Bruce Weber, the head coach at Kansas State. “One, to get the roster down to 18 and then to get it to 12. We had a really talented group of players; there were a lot of guys who could be part of this team.”

Watson helped Gonzaga Prep win two straight 4A state titles. The 6-foot-9 forward is a two-time state tournament MVP and two-time Greater Spokane League most valuable player.

Watson made the initial cut last year at the USA U18 team tryouts but wasn’t chosen for the final roster.

Jalen Suggs, a 2020 guard being recruited by Gonzaga, made the team. Walker Kessler, a 2020 forward from Georgia, wasn’t named to the final roster.

The U.S. squad trains through Sunday in Colorado Springs before leaving for Greece on Monday. The FIBA World Cup runs from June 29 through July 7.

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