COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio State sophomores Zed Key and Meechie Johnson Jr. have been invited to try out for the 2021 USA Basketball U19 National Team that will compete in 2021 FIBA World Cup in Riga, Latvia July 3-11.
The USA team will be coached by Jamie Dixon of Texas Christian University, where the team training camp will be held. Practices begin June 20. The selected members of the USA U19 team will depart for Latvia June 27 with competition beginning July 3.
The U19 championship game will be held July 11.
“This is a great honor for Zed and Meechie,” Chris Holtmann, head coach of the Buckeyes, said. “I know they are excited about competing with some of the best players in the country at their age for a chance to represent our country. We are excited to follow and support them as they compete for a roster spot on this U19 team.”
Key, a 6-8 forward from Bay Shore, New York, played in 31 games over the 2020-21 season for the Buckeyes. He averaged 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in just under 12 minutes a game. He connected on 62% from the field (61-99).
Against Nebraska Dec. 30, 2020, Key scored a career-high 14 points. He recorded a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against Cleveland State Dec. 13.
Johnson Jr., a 6-2 guard from Cleveland, Ohio, joined the Buckeyes last December after graduating early from Garfield Heights High School. He played his first game as a Buckeye Jan. 9 at Rutgers. In 17 games, all against Big Ten competition, he played six minutes per contest and knocked down 6-of-12 3-pointers.
The FIBA U19 World Cup for men features the world’s top 19-year-old and younger players and is conducted every other year. First held in 1979, the USA men’s teams in the 14 FIBA U19 competitions held have won seven gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal, including gold in four of the past six U19 World Cups (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019), and own a 98-4 all-time record at the event.