June 8, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. – Fresh off a record-setting freshman season for the Red Storm, rising sophomore Shamorie Ponds will look to test his talents on the international stage, accepting an invitation to training camp with the United States U19 National Team that will compete at the U19 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, from July 1-9.
The camp will run from June 18-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 12-member team is expected to be announced on June 22.
The national squad will be coached by Kentucky head man John Calipari with assistance from Colorado’s Tad Boyle and Wake Forest’s Danny Manning. In addition, Sean Hanrahan of Warner University, Dan Muller of Illinois State University, King Rice of Monmouth University and Jeremy Shulman from Eastern Florida State College will serve as court coaches during the training camp.
Of the 28 invitees to the week-long training camp, Ponds is one of 13 who recently finished their freshman seasons at the Division I level and one of three who earned a nod to their conference’s all-freshman team. Ponds also represents one of six invitees who attended last year’s U18 national team camp in Colorado Springs.
Past USA U19 standouts include: Jalen Brunson (2015 MVP), Vince Carter (1995), Stephen Curry (2007), Terrance Ferguson (2015), Aaron Gordon (2013 MVP), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2011), Montrezl Harrell (2013), Gordon Hayward (2009), Doug McDermott (2011), Jahlil Okafor (2013), Gary Payton (1987), Sam Perkins (1979), J.J. Redick (2003), Marcus Smart (2013), Klay Thompson (2009), Scott Skiles (1983), Deron Williams (2003), Justise Winslow (2013) and James Worthy (1979).
As a rookie in 2016-17, Ponds completed one of the most impressive seasons for a freshman in St. John’s history. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native set a new freshman scoring record, netting 573 points. His 17.4 points per game average ranked fifth in the conference while his 2.3 3-pointers per game ranked fifth. Not only a prolific scoring threat, Ponds also established himself as one of the league’s top defenders, leading the BIG EAST in steals with 2.1 per outing. Ponds became the first freshman to lead the league in that category since Providence’s John Linehan did so in 1998-99.
Behind Ponds, the Red Storm orchestrated one of the nation’s most prolific turnarounds, increasing its conference win total from one to seven over the course of a single season. The Johnnies enjoyed a number of memorable moments in 2016-17, including a 33-point win at Syracuse, an upset victory at Carnesecca Arena over No. 13 Butler and the program’s first BIG EAST Tournament win since 2011 against archrival Georgetown at The World’s Most Famous Arena.