A week after being announced as a late addition to USA Basketball’s Men’s Developmental National Team training camp, Devearl Ramsey of Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) earned a spot on the squad that will head to Uruguay for next week’s FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
The condensed timeline has allowed little time for the 5-foot-10 guard to study up on the host country.
“I know they mostly speak Spanish,” Ramsey said via phone Tuesday from Colorado Springs. “That’s about it, really.”
Speaking with pride about his prized freshman guard, Sierra Canyon head coach Tyrone Nichols marveled at the accomplishment. Nichols is also Ramsey’s club coach.
“He’s traveled across the country with our club team and that’s really broadened his horizons,” Nichols said. “Now he’s traveling all over the world. It’s an amazing story. It’s really what the American dream is all about.”
Ramsey is far from an unknown, making a splash by averaging 15 points, 4.7 steals and 4.5 assists per game in his rookie campaign at Sierra Canyon. He’s been touted frequently by prominent scouts and analysts as a top prospect – though most, if not all, of his new teammates have generated far more attention.
“He is a dominant point guard and top-tier athlete with range out to 22 feet and has blow-by speed,” Nichols said. “He’s that kid.”
But after participating in a mini-camp in Colorado Springs last October, Ramsey didn’t receive a return invite to take a crack at making the team headed for Uruguay.
“Originally, they didn’t invite him back,” Nichols said. “We called and pleaded with them to go watch him again and to their credit they did.”
USA Basketball released a list of 16 finalists Sunday afternoon and made the final cuts Tuesday. Ramsey will continue on after getting the nod over several other highly touted guards.
Ramsey was a bit hesitant to label himself an underdog in the process.
“There were some bigger names here. I just knew that I had to play my way in and grind it out on every possession,” Ramsey said.
Nichols shed a little more light on the type of confidence Ramsey possesses.
“He left here knowing he would make the team,” Nichols said. “The cream always rises to the top and in this case it definitely did.”
The United States – 28-0 under head coach Don Showalter in U16/U17 play since 2009 – opens play in Uruguay next Tuesday against Mexico.