St. John’s rising sophomore Shamorie Ponds has accepted a training camp invitation for the USA U19 World Cup Team.
The camp will be held from June 18-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Ponds, a former four-star prospect, is coming off one of the best freshman seasons ever recorded at St. John’s. He set the record for most points scored by a freshman at 573, while he and fellow guard Marcus LoVett combined to be the second best scoring backcourt in all of Division I.
He also got the job done on the defensive end as a freshman, leading the entire conference with just over 2 steals per game. Ponds was the first ever St. John’s freshman to lead the conference in that category.
Ponds will have the opportunity to compete in front of some of the country’s best coaches, most notably University of Kentucky’s John Calipari, for a chance to represent the USA. Last year, Ponds was invited to compete for a spot on the U18 team. He is one of six invitees who was also present at last year’s camp.
Of the 13 players invited who just finished their freshman seasons, Ponds is one of only three who was named to his conference’s all-freshman team.
This year’s team has a number of college players, college-committed players (including Queens native Hamidou Diallo, who will play at Kentucky) and Bol Bol, a top-5 prospect in 2018 and a St. John’s target at center.
The competition to land on the full roster will be stiff.
The full 12-man roster is expected to be announced on June 22. If Ponds is picked for the squad, he will be headed to Cairo, Egypt to represent the USA in the tournament which runs from July 1-9.
Fellow Big East guard Jalen Brunson was the 2015 MVP of the tournament. Other notable members of past U19 teams have been Steph Curry (2007) and Klay Thompson, (2009) who are currently the starting backcourt for the Golden State Warriors.