USA Basketball must have a thing for St. Louis area hoops talent. Kirkwood’s Lauryn Miller learned she made the Under-16 girl’s team over the Memorial Day weekend, and it would appear Chaminade’s Jayson Tatum is a likely candidate for the under-19 squad as tryouts get underway in Colorado Springs later this month, after helping to lead the under-17 squad to gold last summer. But they’re not alone in gaining valuable exposure and experience through USA Basketball.
Vianney rising Sophomore Carte’Are Gordon was a finalist for this year’s boys under-16 squad but was one of the final cuts from the team just announced. The power forward has carved out a name for himself after a freshman season and time on the AAU circuit with the Ramey-Jets squad which included a championship at the Chicago Classic in May. (Gordon and his AAU teammates Torrence Watson (Whitfield) and Courtney Ramey (Webster Groves) all hold Missouri offers, while Gordon has also picked up offers from Kansas State and Illinois.)
“Carte’Are has continued to grow and mature as a young man and a basketball player. I think the biggest thing for him is he went through a full season of high school basketball,” wrote Vianney Head Basketball Coach Kevin Walsh. “He learned a system on both offense and defense, learned how to defend, and how to go to work at practice every day. As such, he was in much better condition and had more strength and explosiveness. He is a good young man who has worked very hard to put himself in this position to be a finalist for the USA basketball team U-16s.”
While Gordon didn’t make the final roster of the team that will compete internationally this summer, it appears he has learned some important life lessons, on top of the exposure he earned while tryout out.
“We learned how to invest better, what people do with their businesses and how to watch your money,” said Gordon according to a story posted by USA Basketball after a session with a former financial advisor. “It was good because if we don’t know any better, we can make bad decisions with our money. He told us about how this one NBA player just lost $20 million from not knowing how to invest right. So, it’s good to learn that stuff now, so in the future, if we’re making money, we’ll know how to use it and keep it.”