USA Basketball is holding training camp and tryouts for this year’s U17 FIBA World Championship, and as these things usually go, some guys have to be eliminated from the pool of players eventually. After a couple of early injuries, the player pool was at 36, and on Sunday, it was cut down to 18.
Incoming Marquette freshman Markus Howard is one of the 18.
Howard finds himself in a unique situation in Colorado Springs. While he’s not the only training camp participant that won a gold medal with Team USA in the U16 FIBA Americas championship a year ago, he is the only player at the training camp that will be enrolled in college in the fall. Everyone else is a member of either the class of 2017 or the class of 2018.
Howard was a member of the class of 2017 up until he finished his high school course work at Findlay Prep in Nevada and elected to reclassify to the class of 2016. The U17 designation from FIBA means that any player that turns 17 in the calendar year of 2016 is eligible to play, so it’s important to realize that Howard won’t even turn 18 until sometime after his first ever Big East game is played.
Various media members were at the opening few days of training camp, and Howard was drawing rave reviews through the drills and scrimmages.
Colorado Springs for three days for U17 training camp -- 39 of the best 2017 and 2018 prospects (and Markus Howard). pic.twitter.com/xI5Sq5KV68— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) June 10, 2016
Gary Trent Jr and Markus Howard are a pretty solid back court. Playing very well here at U17 #USABasketball— Krysten (@KP_Rivals) June 11, 2016
Just like last year, Markus Howard is always one of the smartest players on the floor. Hit two right-handed floaters over 6'10" centers.— Sean Moran (@SeanMoHoops) June 11, 2016
USA U17 Sat AM standouts: Gary Trent, Wendel Carter, Charles O'Bannon, Collin Sexton, Troy Brown, Markus Howard, Robert Woodard,, DSchwartz— Dinos Trigonis (@trigonis30) June 11, 2016
Marquette is getting a guy in Markus Howard that can really shoot it & puts effort into defending. Having productive day at U17 trials.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 12, 2016
USA Basketball even did a feature article on Howard, calling him one of the "veteran" leaders of the U17 camp.
Training camp will continue through June 17, and the final 12 man roster for the FIBA U17 World Championship is expected to be announced no later than that date. Team USA begins play in that event on June 23 against Taiwan in Zaragoza, Spain.