UCLA center Thomas Welsh will wear red, white and blue this summer.
The soon-to-be sophomore made the final cut for USA Basketball’s U19 team on Wednesday, becoming one of 12 players who will represent the United States at the FIBA World Championship later this month. He is one of two centers to make the team, the other being Purdue’s five-star signee Caleb Swanigan.
Competition will be held June 27 to July 5 in Heraklion, on the Greek island of Crete. The medal-round quarterfinals are on July 3, with the semifinals and finals taking place the following two days.
“It means so much,” Welsh said in a video posted by USA Basketball, a few hours before it announced the final roster. “Just the opportunity to have the chance to even represent my country, to go and play in Greece for a chance to win a gold medal.”
Welsh averaged 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman, although the numbers belied the promise he showed at certain parts of the 2014-15 season.
Already a capable mid-range shooter, the 7-footer said that he’s working to stretch his range out to the 3-point line. He has yet to take a 3-point attempt in a college game.