COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Tennessee basketball sophomore Tobe Awaka was named to the 2023 USA Basketball U19 National Team Friday. The physical forward made the 12-man roster after being among 35 elite players invited to take part in training camp.
Awaka will travel with Team USA from Colorado Springs to Hungary, where the FIBA U19 World Cup will be contested June 24-July 2.
The Hyde Park, New York, native is one of only two SEC players on the U.S. roster, joining incoming Vanderbilt transfer Ven-Allen Lubin.
Awaka led the Vols in offensive rebounding vs. league opponents (1.83 orpg) as a freshman last season, logging double-figure scoring twice on the year. He tallied a career-high 11 rebounds in Tennessee’s win over Austin Peay on December 21, 2022.
Tennessee redshirt freshman Freddie Dilione V also was a Team USA training camp participant. He advanced through multiple rounds of cuts before being one of the final two players trimmed from the roster.
Along with the USA and host Hungary, teams taking part in the FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup are Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Korea, Madagascar, Slovenia, Turkey, Brazil, China, France, Japan, Lebanon, Serbia and Spain.
The USA was drawn into Group B, alongside Lebanon, Madagascar and Slovenia for the June 24-27 FIBA U19 World Cup preliminary round. The USA will open play against Madagascar on June 24, followed by Slovenia on June 25 and close preliminary play against Lebanon on June 27.
The USA will face off against Lebanon and Madagascar for the first time at a 2023 FIBA Men’s U19 World Cup, owning a 2-0 record against Slovenia at the U19 World Cup.
The United States has won the competition eight times, including three of the last four events—in 2015, 2019 and 2021. Former Tennessee point guard and 2022 NBA Draft pick Kennedy Chandler was a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. squad in 2021.
Current Vol Josiah-Jordan James has experience winning international gold with USA Basketball. James was a member of the United States’ gold-medal-winning team at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.