Today, we're going to discuss John Shurna, who's representing the good ol' US of A in the U19 World Tournament starting... well, some parts of the USA Basketball website say it starts today, some parts say it starts tomorrow, and as a journalist, my first instinct is to not inquire any further into this and write a post on it today.
Just like I said in the T&T post about Kyle Rowley, participating internationally is great for young John. In my first basketball post, I probably sounded a little harsh when I said "John Shurna is not Kevin Coble." Well, he's not, but he certainly has the potential to be Coble-esque. He's 6'8, has an above average jumper, is a pretty good rebounder for a small forward, and has enough athleticism to win a high school slam dunk competition, which, if you ask me, is how you describe a keeper. On court last year, he looked tentative at best, didn't make it look like he could create his own shot, which I'd hoped he'd be able to. It's just good a) to see him picked to a select squad, especially over guys like fellow Big Elevener, Minnesota's Ralph Sampson III, and b) playing competitively in the offseason. I expect Shurna to play well, especially on a team with relatively few big names. A nine-point eight-rebound performance in a scrimmage against Croatia is what I want more of, both this tournament and with NU next year.
Now, to a quick qualm with USA Basketball. They hired a dude to take professional photos of the U19 team scrimmaging. And the only photo they have of John Shurna is this downright silly snapshot.