Big Summer For Kentucky-Bound Tyrese Maxey With USA Basketball & Peach Jam

USA Basketball

Tyrese Maxey has never been out of the United States, but that will change this weekend.

The 6-foot-2 guard from Dallas (TX) South Garland High School will travel to St. Catharines, Ontario, with the U.S. U18 team to compete in the FIBA Americas Championship beginning Sunday evening. 

"I can’t wait to get out the country for the first time, it sounds fun,” the class of 2019 Kentucky commit said this week by phone from the USA Basketball training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "I’ve been almost everywhere in the United States, but I’ve never left the United States so it should be fun.”

Maxey was named this week to the USA’s 12-man roster for the event that will try to win gold in Canada. He joins an elite group of guards that includes Cole Anthony, Ayo Dosunmu, Quentin Grimes, Josiah James, Mark “Rocket” Watts, and Coby White — many of whom will also be at the EYBL finals later this summer.

Join FloHoops PRO to watch Peach Jam LIVE this summer!

“Tyrese is a dog, so I'm happy that both of us could be here,” Anthony said. “I like playing with him.”

Anthony added: “He brings a lot of energy. He can score the basketball, long arms, just elite . . . He can shoot it. I really like his game, I’m a fan."

Maxey, 17, recently committed to Kentucky for 2019 but will play for Kansas coach Bill Self on the U18 team.

“He just had a big speech to us about how this is getting us ready for the next level,” Maxey said of Self. “I feel like he’s right about that. I’m very grateful to have him to get ready for the next level, even before my senior year of high school.”

Self, in turn, wants his guards to push the tempo beginning with Sunday night’s game against the Dominican Republic.

“The biggest thing that we have to do is create pace and tempo,” Self said. “Not only offensively, but through our defense as well."

Kentucky coach John Calipari, who last year coached the USA U19 team in the FIBA World Championship in Egypt, has also been checking in with Maxey.

Kentucky figures to have some experience returning for the 2018-19 season with Quade Green, Nick Richards, and P.J. Washington coming back to school and joining a freshman group that includes Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, E.J. Montgomery, and Immanuel Quickley.

Kentucky is also in the mix for Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis, who's considering Kentucky and Villanova. 

Ashton Hagans has also committed to Kentucky and is working toward reclassifying for the upcoming season. 

“I feel like they could be really good, especially because they’re going on a trip to the Bahamas [in August],” Maxey said. “And the last time Kentucky went on a trip they won a national championship. So [Calipari] is going to get that extra week with his guys and I feel like we’re going to be very special."

Meantime, Maxey has a big summer ahead.

He’s looking forward to the Canada trip and to trying to bring back another gold medal for the U.S.

“It feels great,” said Maxey, who has been rooming in Colorado with Jeremiah Earl-Robinson. “I’m honored to be able to go compete for my country and represent my country in a good way. Bring back the gold.”

After that, he will compete with his Houston Hoops team at the Peach Jam July 11-15 in North Augusta, South Carolina.

“I’m going to go to Canada, come back home, go to a volleyball tournament [in Detroit] with my sister and go to Peach Jam and The 8 in Vegas,” he said. “After that get ready to go back to school.”

As for Peach Jam, he is one of eight USA finalists with Nike EYBL experience. 

“We have one goal, and that’s to win it," he said of Peach Jam. “We’ve done a really special thing as far as going 12-4 without any practice because I live in Dallas and coach [Tim] Schumacher is in Houston so we really haven’t gotten to practice at all throughout the four sessions. But we want to practice a lot before Peach Jam, which I feel will help us be a lot better.”

First things first.

Canada awaits. And Maxey has been preparing for this trip since last fall.

“I’ve never been out the country,” he said. “I got my passport ready at the beginning of November."


Adam Zagoria is a basketball insider who runs ZAGSBLOG.com and contributes to The New York Times. Follow Adam on Twitter.

Joel Embiid, Woj, & A Shiny Jacket: 7 NBA Draft Hot Takes

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the NBA Draft happened in New York at the Barclays Center, and many dramatic things happened. The Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks swapped picks involving Luka Doncic and Trae Young. Michael Porter Jr., who a year ago probably would've been drafted in the top three, fell to No. 14. And for one hour Mikal Birdges thought he would be staying in Philadelphia. 

Exposing The Overrated: Jarace Walker, Slam City Ready For Jr. NBA Regional

Slam City coach Walter Webb offers a simple but powerful vision for the players in his program: “training the overlooked to compete against the overrated.”

Confidence Picks: Things You'll Hear At The NBA Draft

Could you imagine another NBA Mock Draft the day of the 2018 NBA Draft? Of course, you could, but we're not here to do that to you. Mainly, because I'm really not that confident in who will go where (I don't think anyone is), but I am confident in things we will hear.

Vernon Carey Jr. Gunning For Second Gold, Looking To Duke & Kentucky Visits

© Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Home Court: Vernon Carey Jr. Primed To Take College Hoops By Storm

Vernon Carey Jr. has already won one gold medal in Argentina.

Isaiah Stewart Spills On Recruiting, Sets Peach Jam & Team USA Goals

© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

If all goes according to plan, Isaiah Stewart will be a very busy man in the coming weeks.

Forget Luka Doncic: 5 European Prospects Who Could Get Drafted In 2019

© Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

 By Austin Green

Luka Doncic is the hottest name in international basketball right now, but he’s not the only future first-round pick who’s been balling in Europe.

The NBA Draft Is Demonstrable Insanity, But People Still Love Mock Drafts

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2008 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies selected O. J. Mayo one pick ahead of Russell Westbrook, modern purveyor of the triple-double and league MVP winner. In 2008, the Miami Heat selected Michael Beasley ahead of Kevin Love, a five-time all-star and trailblazer of the stretch four phenomenon. In the same draft two future all-stars were selected in the second round — DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic — miles behind a lengthy list of players of whom you probably have exactly recollection. 

Three Players, Three Countries, One AAU Team: PSA Trio Friends & Enemies

Adam Zagoria
‘Boss Up’: Cole Anthony Shouldering More Responsibility For PSA Cardinals

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Three players, three countries, one AAU team.

The Jr. NBA World Championship Is Redefining Youth Basketball Globally

The scope of the Jr. NBA World Championship, even for an organization as huge as the National Basketball Association, is absolutely staggering: eight United States regional tournaments in eight different American cities, eight international regions on six continents, and nearly 1,000 teams competing to be one of the 32 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls basketball teams that advance to the first-ever Jr. NBA World Championship in August. 

Trayce Jackson-Davis Wants Gold Medal With USAB As Recruitment Heats Up

USA Basketball

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Trayce Jackson-Davis made the 12-man team that is representing the USA here at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.