The United States is and always has been the class of the basketball world. Now, a former West Virginia men’s basketball standout will be a part of this legacy. Kevin Jones has been selected to the roster for two games in regional qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Team USA will play against Mexico on Thursday, June 28, at 9:30 p.m., in Mexico City and Cuba on Sunday, July 1, at 4 p.m., in Havana. The games will be steamed on ESPN+.
This is the first national team call-up for Jones, who currently plays for Nanterre 92 in France, part of the Pro A league. He made the cut after a four-practice trial this past weekend. Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy selected a total of 12 players and Jones is the only Europe-based player.
Van Gundy’s team is currently 4-0 in the FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifying, leading Group C. This is the third “window” of games in the process. Team USA previously defeated Mexico 91-55, on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, and downed Cuba 84-48, on Friday, Feb. 23.
For the first round of qualifying, 16 teams in the Americas are sorted into four groups; the three best teams from each group advance to the second round (the USA has already qualified for this round). Team records carry over into the second round, which splits the 12 teams into two groups. The top three teams from each group will qualify for the World Cup in China.