Bane falls short of making Under-19 Team USA World Cup Team

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TCU sophomore guard Desmond Bane missed the cut Tuesday to become one of the final 18 players under consideration to play for the USA Under-19 World Cup Team that will compete in the FIBA U19 World Championships, July 1-9 in Cairo, Egypt.

Bane played the last two days at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the USA U19 World Cup Team training camp and ended up being one of the seven players head coach John Calipari sent home after the first cut.

“It was a great experience,” said Bane. “It was a great chance to see where I am against the top players in the country. By being selected to the training camp, I proved that I belong.”

Bane said the experience also showed him how far he had come.

“Just over a year ago I was talking to NAIA and (NCAA) DII schools,” Bane said. “It’s a testimony for me to be at this level and show the passion I have for the game.”

Bane chose TCU, instead of a DII school, in May of last year, just a few months before the start of his freshman year in Fort Worth.  While in high school, Bane scored 30 points per game, which was the second-best average in the state of Indiana and led Seton Catholic to a section championship.

This past season with the Horned Frogs, Bane played in all 39 games, while starting in 13. He averaged 7.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and helped TCU to a 24-15 record and an NIT championship.

After three practices over the last two days in Colorado Springs, Bane relished in the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the nation’s best young players.

“I learned how talented everyone is,” said Bane. “Coming from a small school in Richmond, I didn’t see talent at this caliber. The Big 12 has talented guys, but these are some of the top players in the nation.”

Bane also received some advice from Naismith Hall of Fame Coach John Calipari, who made the selections and the cuts for the team that will compete at the 2017 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.

“Coach Cal was telling me that I was playing great and he loved my game and loved the way I play,” said Bane. “That was a confidence booster for me. Everyone here is really good. Not everyone can make the team.”

The 18 finalists fighting to represent the USA in Cairo are posted on the team website and the 12-member team is expected to be announced June 22.