Ex-Mountaineer Kevin Jones to play for Team USA

MORGANTOWN — Kevin Jones’ next stop in basketball will be with Team USA.

The former WVU standout made the final roster for the USA World Cup qualifying team, which will play in Mexico on June 28 and in Cuba on July 1.

Jones was traveling with Team USA on Tuesday and was unavailable for comment.

The United States, through games played last February, already qualified to advance to the second round of games, which begins in September.

The ultimate goal is to play in the FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 31, 2019, in China, and will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games.

This is the third of three windows of first-round games; Jones did not participate in the first two.

Team USA has the option of changing its roster before second-round play and then again for World Cup action.

It’s unclear if Jones will have the option to play for Team USA following Sunday’s game, in Havana, Cuba.

“I’m not sure how it all works moving forward,” Jones said this month, during the annual WVU Alumni Game. “I just see it as a huge opportunity to represent your country playing basketball. Not many people can say they did that.”

Thursday’s game, against Mexico, in Mexico City, is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Sunday’s game, against Cuba, is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

The games can be seen only on ESPN+, an online streaming service that requires a subscription.

Team USA is made up of NBA G League players and Jones, who played last season professionally in Spain.

The team will be led by former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.

“They’re together,” Van Gundy said in a press release. “This is a good group of committed athletes that I think are going to represent us well. That doesn’t mean that we’ll win, but they’ll represent us well, and they’re going to work hard and compete for each other and for the country, and that’s all you can ask.”

Jones, a first-team all-Big East player at WVU, in 2012, is the only non-G League player on the roster. He made the team after reporting to a training camp in Houston last week.

“I’ve never been to Cuba before,” Jones said. “That could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me.”

Team USA teammates will include former Gonzaga point guard David Stockton, the son of Hall-of-Famer John Stockton, as well as former Texas standout Jonathan Holmes and former Duke standout Amile Jefferson.

In order to play in the qualifying games, Jones passed on an opportunity to play with Armored Athlete in the annual The Basketball Tournament (TBT), which is set to begin July 20.

TBT is a winner-take-all tournament that pays $2 million to the winning team. It is bracketed in the same format as the NCAA tournament.

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