CHESTER'S JEFFERSON MAKES TEAM USA
Jefferson got the news Sunday, after two-plus days of practices at the national team facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"They did it around 11 a.m. Colorado time and everybody was in a room, and they just called out names of who made it," said Jefferson, who survived the cut, from 28 players to 14. "I didn't jump out of my seat, but I was pretty hyped."
A 6-7 point guard/forward, Jefferson was named the 2011-12 Daily Times boys basketball Player of the Year after leading Chester to its second consecutive PIAA Class AAAA title. He also was named the PIAA Player of the Year. The Clippers (32-0), for whom Jefferson averaged 12.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.7 blocked shots per game, finished the season ranked No. 4 nationally by USA Today.
The U-17 tournament begins June 29 and runs through July 8. Jefferson said he and the team will fly to the Eastern European nation Thursday.
This isn't Jefferson's first go-around with Team USA. He represented USA last summer, when he competed in the inaugural FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship in Rimini, Italy. There, the United States placed eighth with a 7-5 record.
Being from Chester, which houses a proud basketball tradition, and wearing the orange and black means a lot to Jefferson. But even he couldn't contain himself after learning he'd wear his country's colors for a second time.
"There's nothing like it," he said, in a phone interview with the Daily Times. "You're representing your country. It's very special to have this opportunity."
Pick up the Monday, June 18 edition of the Daily Times for more on Jefferson. And check back to Delco Hoops for occasional updates on Jefferson and Team USA in Lithuania.