Baylor may have missed the NCAA tournament this season, but Cory Jefferson made a different sweet sixteen Wednesday.
After three days of tryouts, the Baylor senior was selected as one of 16 finalists named to the USA Basketball Men’s World University Games roster.
“Ya boy made the team!!!! #TeamUSA #BaylorGang #Blessed,” Jefferson tweeted.
The former Killeen Roos star was one of 29 players invited to the training camp, which began Monday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The final 12-player roster for The World University Games, which will be played July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia, will be announced prior to the team’s departure July 1.
“Cory Jefferson called and said the Baylor Bears r going to Russia!!! Congrats Cory J and bring back the GOLD!!!,” Baylor coach Scott Drew tweeted.
Jefferson had a breakout season as a fourth-year junior for Baylor, averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while starting all 37 games and leading the Bears to the 2013 NIT Championship.
He now has a chance to become the sixth player in program history to play for USA Basketball while at Baylor.
The United States owns a 138-9 record and has claimed 19 medals in the World University Games since beginning play in 1965, and has captured a record 13 golds, three silvers and three bronze medals.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the WUGs have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games.
After departing for Russia, the USA team will practice July 3-6, including scrimmages on July 4 against Russian basketball club UNICS and on July 5 against the Russia World University Games Team before beginning World University Games play. The USA will take on United Arab Emirates on July 7, followed by games against the Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia and Canada.
Jefferson is joined at the training camp by Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Davante Gardner (Marquette), Treveon Graham (Virginia Commonwealth), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Luke Hancock (Louisville), Tyler Haws (BYU), Rodney Hood (Duke), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Alex Kirk (New Mexico), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Chasson Randle (Stanford), Will Sheehey (Indiana) and Aaron White (Iowa).
The USA team is coached by Davidson’s Bob McKillop, and he’s assisted by Michigan’s John Beilein and South Carolina’s Frank Martin.
“I think we have the nucleus of a really good team,” said Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee. “We’ve got good big guys, we’ve got good wing players, we’ve got scorers, we’ve got shooters, so I think it’s a balanced team. That’s what you hope for on these teams.”