Julian DeBose to represent team USA at World University Games

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MGN Online

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Rising FGCU men’s basketball senior Julian DeBose has been selected to represent the United States at the World University Games July 3-14 in Gwangju, South Korea.

In April, the Kansas men’s basketball team was chosen to represent the USA as the National Team at the World University Games. DeBose and SMU’s Nic Moore – the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Year – are the only two players not on the Jayhawks who will be heading to South Korea as part of Team USA.

An injury to one of Kansas’s players prompted a call from KU head coach Bill Self to former Kansas assistant coach and current FGCU head coach Joe Dooley on Friday looking for a replacement. DeBose, who will be FGCU’s leading returning scorer next year after averaging 11.6 per game as a redshirt junior in 2014-15, was selected and will become the first student-athlete in FGCU history to represent the USA in an international competition.

“I want to thank coach Dooley and coach Self for this opportunity,” said DeBose, who flew to Lawrence on Saturday morning to begin working out with the team in advance of a pair of exhibition games against Canada next week. “I’m extremely thankful, excited and honored to represent my country.”

Twenty-four teams will compete in the 2015 Games. There are four pools of six teams each, and USA is in Pool D. The International University Sports Federation (FISU) which governs the World University Games (WUG) established the criteria for selecting each pool based on previous WUG results, previous participation in the Games, continental representation and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings. Following five games in pool competition, the teams will be seeded for bracket play with the top two teams from each pool battling for a medal.

Joining the USA National Team in Pool D is Serbia, Brazil, Turkey, Chile and Switzerland. Historically, the USA has won 13 World University Games gold medals, three silvers and three bronze since the inception of the games in 1965. The USA’s last WUG gold medal came in 2005. The USA is 1-0 in the World University Games against Serbia with a 68-66 victory in 2009. Serbia later won the 2009 WUG gold medal and USA the bronze. The USA is 8-0 against Brazil with the last meeting in 2001, a 99-67 USA victory. The USA squad is 1-0 versus Turkey with the lone meeting in 2001, a 113-90 decision. The USA has yet to face Chile or Switzerland in World University Games competition.

There are five facilities which will host the men’s and women’s basketball competitions. Included are Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium, Muan Indoor Gymnasium, Muan Chodang University Gymnasium, Yeonggwang Sportium Gymnasium and Donkang College Gymnasium.

With more than 150 countries competing in 21 sports, the World University Games are held every two years and are governed by FISU and the 2015 Games are the 28th. Only current university student-athletes or recent graduates, born between Jan. 1, 1990, and Dec. 31, 1997, are eligible for the 2015 Games. Only U.S. citizens can compete for Team USA, and incoming freshmen and transfers qualify. The Kansas travel party, consisting of 12 competitors (including DeBose and Moore) and staff (24 total), will leave Lawrence on June 28 and live in the athlete village throughout the Games.

This is the second time a college team will compete in the World University Games. In 2007, the University of Northern Iowa participated and finished ninth in Bangkok, Thailand. USA Basketball, the organization, is typically in charge of assembling teams for international events; however, this summer there is another international event – the Pan American Games – so another organization, Basketball Travelers, was charged with selecting a team. Following an application process, Kansas was chosen to represent the USA.

DeBose, a native of Washington, D.C. who transferred from Rice following his sophomore year in 2012-13, added 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game to go along with his third-best team scoring average last year for the Eagles. He played in 30 games on the year, making 25 starts – including a stretch of 22 of 23 to close the year with the lone exception coming on Senior Night – and was named Atlantic Sun Conference Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 26 following consecutive team-best scoring performances on the road.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for Julian to not only represent the USA but also to play against some of the best competition at this level in the world,” added Dooley. “For him to be selected is a testament to all the hard work he’s put in, and we’re looking forward to watching him in action.”

Dooley spent 10 years on Self’s staff at Kansas before taking over the FGCU program following Dunk City’s run to the Sweet 16 in 2013. In those 10 seasons, Kansas produced 300 wins, nine straight Big 12 regular-season titles, six Big 12 Tournament championships, six NCAA Sweet 16s, five NCAA Elite Eight appearances and two Final Fours, including the 2008 National Championship.

Team USA will take on Team Canada in the aforementioned exhibition contests at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on June 23 and June 26 at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. local). The exhibition games, in addition to all the World University Games, will be governed under FIBA rules. The most notable differences from the college game include 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock.

2015 World University Games Pools
Pool A – Korea, Estonia, Germany, China, Angola, Mozambique
Pool B – Russia, Canada, Mexico, Mongolia, Sweden, Montenegro
Pool C – Australia, Lithuania, Finland, Japan, France, Chinese Taipei
Pool D – Serbia, Brazil, USA, Turkey, Chile, Switzerland

Team USA Schedule (all games to appear live or tape delayed on ESPNU and/or ESPN3)
Friday, July 3: USA vs. Turkey at Dongkang Gymnasium, 11 p.m. Eastern (Noon, July 4 in South Korea)
Sunday, July 5: Brazil vs. USA at Dongkang Gymnasium, 7:30 a.m. Eastern (8:30 p.m., July 5 in South Korea)
Tuesday, July 7: Chile vs. USA at Muan Indoor Gymnasium, 1:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m., July 7 in South Korea)
Tuesday, July 7: USA vs. Serbia at Dongkang Gymnasium, 11 p.m. Eastern (Noon, July 8 in South Korea)
Wednesday, July 8: USA vs. Switzerland at Dongkang Gymnasium, 9 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m., July 9 in South Korea)
July 10-13: Three games TBA in medal and bracket play at Dongkang Gymnasium

For more information about the World University Games, visit www.wugusa.com.

Season-ticket renewals for the 2015-16 FGCU men’s basketball season are currently underway, with new season ticket applications being accepted starting in July. Single-game tickets are scheduled to go on sale beginning Oct. 1. For the latest ticket information, log on toFGCUAthletics.com.

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