High School Sports

Cox Mill's Wendell Moore named to USA Basketball U17 team

Concord Cox Mill's Wendell Moore is the top-ranked player in the Class of 2019 in North Carolina.
Concord Cox Mill's Wendell Moore is the top-ranked player in the Class of 2019 in North Carolina. Observer file

Concord Cox Mill High's Wendell Moore, for the second straight season, will play basketball for his country.

Moore, who won a gold medal with a USA Basketball U16 last summer, was named to the U17 team Thursday.

Moore, a 6-foot-6 rising senior, made the U17 team after six days of training. He was the only N.C. player named to the team.

“First of all, it was very difficult to get down to 12,” said USA U17 head coachDon Showalter(USA Basketball youth division coach director), a nine-time recipient of the USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award and a nine-time gold medalist head coach of USA U16 and U17 national teams. “We feel the 12 that we have fit what we need, which is versatility. They can play different positions. We've got some shooters. We've got some slashers. So, I think the 12 we have kind of have the whole package for us.”

Moore was one of nine players from the 2017 U16 team, which qualified the USA for the 2018 U17 World Cup.

Moore, a 6-foot-6 junior, averaged 25 points and eight rebounds last season. He led Concord's Cox Mill High School to a second straight N.C. 3A state championship and repeated as state finals MVP. He scored his 2,000th point this season and holds more than 15 Division I offers, from schools including national power Kansas.

In May, he narrowed his potential colleges to five: Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

This summer, Moore will be part of a USA team that is a four-time U17 gold medalist looking to defend a 30-0 record at the event. Moore and the Americans open against China on June 30, followed by Mali on July 1 and Serbia on July 3.

Following the preliminary round, all teams will advance to the July 4 round of 16. Round of 16 winners advance to the July 6 medal quarterfinals. The semifinals will be played on July 7, and the finals will be contested on July 8.

The 2018 U17 World Cup will be held June 30-July 8 in Rosario and Santa Fe, Argentina.