What will be the most hectic and exciting year of Seventh Woods’ life is opening with a chance to discover what he can expect.
Woods, the Hammond School star ranked 18th among the nation’s next crop of college basketball phenoms, has been invited to try out for the U.S. Under-19 world championship team. He’ll be among 24 hopefuls from June 12-26 in Colorado Springs, where 12 will be chosen to play at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece.
Woods might not make the team – still a month and change shy of his 17th birthday, he’s competing against other players who either finished or are about to begin their freshman seasons in college – but he’ll be able to soak up two weeks of experience. He can discuss with players who have recently been through the mania of recruiting.
“He’s very excited,” mother Monica Woods said on Friday. “He’s honored every time they call. He’s not going to take it for granted.”
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Woods won a gold medal with the U16 team in 2013, but a wrist injury prohibited him from competing last summer. Still, he was invited to try out for the U19 team despite several players from the U16 team not getting the same call.
Monica Woods said the invitation was a surprise, but her son embraced the chance to again play for the Red, White and Blue. She’ll be in Colorado with him and hopes he makes the team, although she won’t be able to travel to Greece if he does. If he doesn’t make it, he’ll head to Stephen Curry’s camp in San Diego after Colorado.
“We actually need to get a vacation in there somewhere,” Monica Woods said. “But Seventh is unbelievably humble. He takes things in stride. He’ll do well.”
Many are speculating what Woods will do next year, some claiming he has narrowed his choices to two colleges, some saying it’s still wide open. Mom said her son isn’t sure of anything – which school or when he plans to announce.
Her preference is for him to get it out of the way early, so he can enjoy his final season of prep basketball. But it’s up to him.
“He’s not sure when he’ll do it,” she said. “He has the whole year to do it, but hopefully it won’t take that long.”