PULLMAN, Wash. — Last week, Washington State forward Dishon Jackson became the first Coug since 2009 to receive an invite to USA Basketball Men's U19 World Cup Team training camp.
The last two invited were Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, who both made the team.
There were 27 players selected for training camp and 12 will make the final roster. Training camp starts on June 20. Jackson was ready to go from the moment he heard he was invited.
"I was very excited," he said. "Hard work is always going to prevail you know?"
The coug is ready to prove himself, especially after some adversity he dealt with when he had hopes to play for the FIBA U16 team a couple of years ago. An unfortunate meniscus tear would sideline him from the team.
"I tore my leg just sitting down," Jackson said. "It was not an in game tear. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I just sat down and couldn't straighten my leg. Everything just fell out of alignment for me at that time. It was a hard time."
He's recovered since and is on a mission.
"I have to prove I can be one of the most dominant big men in the country, man," he said. "That's really what it is. I'm just going to show them they selected the right one."
Jackson said making the team would be a cool step in his journey playing basketball.
"It would mean a lot man, he said. "That's really big going to play for the United States. Just the experience of traveling across the country to play against people you've never met. It's an exciting experience and I'm glad they selected me to give me this chance."
Jackson says even if he doesn't make the cut this will be a great experience for him to learn new skills and improve on his own.
He'll know on June 22 whether he will be on the 12 man roster for USA. The team's first game is on July 3 against Turkey.