BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Incoming Texas basketball freshman, 2019 recruiting targets, training for U18 Team USA squad

Posted May 8th, 2018

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One of the centerpieces to Texas’ top-10 2018 recruiting class will have an opportunity to represent the United States this summer as incoming freshman Kamaka Hepa, an Alaskan product via Portland, Ore. is one of 30 players training with Team USA’s U18 squad.

The 6-foot-9-inch forward, a 4-star prospect ranked No. 54 nationally by 247Sports signed with the Longhorns in November, will compete with a handful of the top teenage basketball players to make the roster for a team that will compete at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men on June 10-16 in St. Catharines, Canada.

The roster for the FIBA team isn’t expected to be finalized until next month.

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Two years ago Texas coach Shaka Smart led the U18 squad to FIBA championship in Chile. This year’s U18 Team is being coached by Kansas’ Bill Self.

Hepa is joined by some of the top players in his recruiting class, including Duke recruit Zion Williamson and Woodland College Park product– and the top-rated 2018 Texas recruit– Quentin Grimes, who signed with Kansas.

Also in the mix are several 2019 Texas recruiting targets. Westlake High School forward Will Baker, who holds a scholarship offer from Texas, is among the 32 players training. Other players reportedly holding Texas offers in the mix are guard Tyrese Maxey and forward Keion Brooks.

Smart’s time coaching the 2016 squad was a boon to his 2017 recruiting class. Mo Bamba and Matt Coleman played for Smart as well as two other Longhorns, Jarrett Allen and James Banks. Bamba said his relationship with Smart during event played a role in his picking of Texas last summer.

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