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Jasper Johnson, Malachi Moreno make initial USA U18 cut

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim05/26/24

In-state standouts Jasper Johnson of Lexington and Malachi Moreno of Georgetown are one step closer to representing the United States on the world stage at the 2024 Men’s U18 AmeriCup in Buenos Aires, Argentina from June 3-9.

The 2024 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp roster started at 28 going into the event out in Colorado Springs on Thursday and has been since trimmed to 18 finalists, Johnson and Moreno among those making the cut. That group will soon lose six more to build the official 12-player roster that will represent the USA in Argentina next month.

Check out the list of 18 finalists announced by USA Basketball on Saturday:

Training Camp began on May 23 at the US Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, coached by Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd with Texas Tech’s Grant McCasland and Notre Dame’s Micah Shrewsberry serving as assistant coaches. Duke’s Jon Scheyer is also assisting to go with Coastal Carolina’s Justin Gray, St. Louis’ Josh Schertz, and Drake’s Ben McCollum.

Kentucky’s Mark Pope was also in attendance for the event, bringing his complete staff with him to Colorado Springs with assistant coach Mark Fox serving as an advisor, as well.

Johnson, Moreno, Ament, Henderson, McKenney and Wilson are all seen as Kentucky targets in 2025, as are the likes of Jerry Easter IIHudson Greer and Meleek Thomas, players initially invited, but left off the first list of cuts.

Alvin Brooks III posted on his Instagram story the Kentucky coaches were on their way “to see some future Cats,” boarding a private jet early Friday morning. Who will they be able to reel in? You can put Johnson and Moreno at the top of the priority list as in-state standouts USA Basketball believes are two of the top 18 players in a group of the best of the best set to represent their country in Argentina.

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