Oklahoma State sophomore guard Isaac Likekele has been named to the United States’ under-19 FIBA World Cup team. Likekele is one of of six college players on the roster with the other half of the 12-man roster comprised of high school seniors.
USA under-19 team is now set. Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, Ziaire Williams and Jalen Green the high schoolers making it. Collegiates include Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Tyrese Haliburton, Kira Lewis, Trevion Williams, Reggie Perry & Isaac Likekele— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 20, 2019
The tournament tips off June 29 in Greece. The United States will start things off by playing New Zealand on June 29, followed by Lithuania (June 30) and Senegal (July 2). Sixteen teams qualified for the FIBA U19 World Cup, with the United States and its three opponents making up Group A.
Another notable addition to the team is Monteverde Academy (Florida) forward Cade Cunningham, the third-ranked prospect in his class. Oklahoma State currently holds 90 percent of 247sports.com’s crystal ball predictions for Cunningham.
Should he commit, Cunningham would be the second-highest recruit to ever commit to the OSU since the rankings system was introduced in 2003. The only recruit rated higher than Cunningham is Gerald Green, who decided to go straight to the NBA in 2005.
The other guards on the team, who Likekele will split playing time with, are Cunningham, Jalen Green, Kira Lewis Jr., Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Suggs. The 6-foot-7 Cunningham will likely play most or all of his time at the two or three. All other guards on the roster are between 6-3 and 6-5, including Likekele at 6-4.
One thing this team won’t be lacking is star power. Mobley, Green, Cunningham, Barnes, Williams and Suggs are all ranked in the top 12 players for the class of 2020. Joining OSU for college representation are Alabama (Lewis Jr.), Iowa State (Haliburton), Mississippi State (Perry), Purdue (Williams) and Villanova (Robinson-Earl).
Hopefully Likekele will be able to do a little recruiting of Cunningham, but the most important thing is soaking up the experience. He has been a leader since he stepped on campus and hasn’t shied away from competing against the top competition among his age group. Playing for the United States national team should be an amazing experience and it will be fun to see what he learns and how he applies it to the team next season.
Likekele making the team isn’t a huge surprise considering how much analysts have been raving about his performance in Colorado Springs.
I have a feeling Isaac Likekele is about to pay huge dividends at #OklahomaState. Already had a very good freshman season but looks ready to take a big step as a sophomore. Big time leader and dudes appear to love playing with him #USABMU19— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) June 17, 2019
Good day at the USA under-19 trials. Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele the standout. Impressive playmaking skills with size. Walker Kessler, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Evan Mobley among the others that stood out— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 16, 2019
Likekele is now the fourth Oklahoma State player to make the US Team for the FIBA U19 World Cup, joining Matt Clark (1979), Marcus Smart (2013) and Jawun Evans (2015). The previous three all won gold, and the U.S. is expected to do so again this year.