Casto and Thompson to Represent WSU at USA U19 Basketball Trials - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Casto and Thompson to Represent WSU at USA U19 Basketball Trials

Posted: Updated:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Washington State University men's basketball rising-sophomores DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson have been selected to attend the 2009 USA U19 National Team Trials, held June 16-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

WSU is the only school to get multiple student-athletes invited to the trials. The 17 invitees, who had to have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, will compete for 12 roster spots on the 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team. The trial invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

"This opportunity is really special and I want to make the most of it, I'm really thankful," Thompson said. "It would be a great honor and the opportunity of a lifetime to represent my country, especially playing against some of the best competition around the world in our age group. It would be something really special."

"I'm super excited. It's an honor to go and try to make the team," Casto said. "I'm going to give it my all...this is something I really, really want and I just really hope that I make the cut and I'm able to travel to New Zealand and compete for the USA. Coach Bennett and all the coaches used to tell me, ‘you can't teach experience,' so getting that experience and seeing those types of players and going up against them will be good for me."

Following the trials, the USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team Committee is expected to announce finalists for the 12-member USA U19 World Championship Team roster. Training camp for the selected finalists will begin June 19, with the 12-member USA roster being announced prior to the teams' departure for New Zealand on June 25.  The team will be coached by Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon along with assistants Chris Lowery, head coach at Southern Illinois, and Matt Painter, head coach at Purdue.

Casto (Spokane, Wash.) and Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) will be joined at the trials by USA Basketball veterans Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest/Norcross, Ga.), Donminic Cheek (Villanova/Jersey City, N.J.), Drew Gordon (UCLA/San Jose, Calif.) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut/New York, N.Y.). Fellow newcomers to USA Basketball include; Kenny Boynton (Florida/Pompano Beach, Fla.), Darryl Bryant (West Virginia/Brooklyn, N.Y.), Seth Curry (Duke/Charlotte, N.C.), Gordon Hayward (Butler/Brownsburg, Ind.), Darius Miller (Kentucky/Maysville, Ky.), Arnett Moultrie (UTEP/Memphis, Tenn.), Ralph Sampson III (Minnesota/Duluth, Ga.), John Shurna (Northwestern/Glen Ellyn, Ill.), Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas/Jersey City, N.J.), Howard Thompkins (Georgia/Lithonia, Ga.) and Terrico White (Mississippi/Memphis, Tenn.).

Both Casto and Thompson earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors this past season, while Thompson was also named to the All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team by  A 6-6 guard, Thompson ranked fifth in the Pac-10 and led all conference freshmen in 3-point field goals made (68), 10th overall and second among freshmen in 3-point field goal percentage (.412) and 10th overall and third among freshmen in blocked shots (0.6 bpg). Thompson holds the WSU freshman single-game record for 3-pointers made after knocking down 8-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc at Arizona State Jan. 29.

The WSU record holder for starts and minutes played by a freshman, Thompson started all 33 games for the Cougars in 2008-09, averaging 12.5 points per game. He holds the Cougar freshman record for 3-point field goals made with 68. He also ranks in the WSU freshman top-10 in field goal attempts (first - 165), games played (t-second - 33), points (second - 414), field goals made (second - 159), scoring average (third - 12.5), field goal attempts (first - 378), 3-point field goal percentage (third - .412), rebounds (fourth - 138), rebound average (fifth - 4.2), blocked shots (sixth - 20), blocks average (seventh - 0.61), assists (seventh - 62) and assist average (t-ninth - 1.9 apg).

A 6-8 forward, Casto led all Pac-10 freshmen and ranked fourth overall with 1.2 blocks per game. He is tied with Thompson for second-most games played by a freshman after playing all 33 games as a rookie. Casto holds the WSU freshman blocks record after swatting 39 shots in 2008-09. He also ranks second in blocks average (1.2 bpg), fifth in rebounds (131) and seventh for rebound average (4.0 rpg). Casto is also tied for the third-best single game performance by a WSU freshman after blocking four shots against Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 15, 2008).

If selected, Casto and Thompson would be the second WSU duo in three years to represent the U.S. in International competition, as both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were members of the 2007 USA Pan American Team.

Following trials, the USA squad will battle with 15 other nations for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship title. The United States has been placed in Group B, along with Egypt, France and Iran. The 12 remaining 19-and-under national teams were distributed as such: Group A includes Angola, Greece, Lithuania and Puerto Rico; Group C consists of Australia, Canada, Spain and Syria; and Group D is comprised of Argentina, Croatia, Kazakhstan and host New Zealand.

2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials Schedule

Tuesday, June 16

4:30 - 7:30 p.m.                 Session I

Wednesday, June 17

9 a.m. - Noon                     Session II

4:30 - 7 p.m.                      Session III

Thursday, June 18

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.               Session IV

                                                U19 Finalists Announced

2009 USA Men's U19 World Championship Team Trials Roster

NAME                                 POS    HGT       WGT         DOB         YOG          SCHOOOL                                  HOMETOWN

Al-Farouq Aminu                 F       6-9           215      09/21/90   2012         Wake Forest                             Norcross, Ga.

Kenny Boynton                   G       6-2           187      05/12/91   2013         Florida                                        Pompano Beach, Fla.

Darryl Bryant                       G       6-2           200      04/25/90   2012         West Virginia                            Brooklyn, N.Y.

DeAngelo Casto                   F       6-8           229      02/17/90   2012         Washington State                     Spokane, WA

Dominic Cheek                    G       6-5           170      01/02/90   2013         Villanova                                    Jersey City, N.J.

Seth Curry                            G       6-3           180      08/23/90   2012         Duke                                           Charlotte, N.C.

Drew Gordon                       F       6-8           235      06/12/90   2012         UCLA                                          San Jose, Calif.

Gordon Hayward                 F       6-8           200      03/23/90   2012         Butler                                         Brownsburg, Ind.

Darius Miller                        F       6-7           223      03/21/90   2012         Kentucky                                   Maysville, KY

Arnett Moultrie                   C       6-11        225      11/18/90   2012         UTEP                                           Memphis, Tenn.

Ralph Sampson III                C       6-11        220      01/05/90   2012         Minnesota                                 Duluth, Ga.

John Shurna                         F       6-8           210      04/30/90   2012         Northwestern                           Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Tyshawn Taylor                   G       6-3           180      04/12/90   2012         Kansas                                        Jersey City, N.J.

Howard Thompkins             F       6-9           247      05/29/90   2012         Georgia                                      Lithonia, Ga.

Klay Thompson                    G       6-6           187      02/08/90   2012         Washington State                     Ladera Ranch, Calif.

Kemba Walker                    G       6-1           172      05/08/90   2012         Connecticut                              New York, N.Y.

Terrico White                      G       6-5           211      03/07/90   2012         Mississippi                                 Memphis, Tenn.

Head Coach: Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Coach: Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois University

Assistant Coach: Matt Painter, Purdue University