From 33 to 18, Hepa survives first cut for Team USA U18 team

June 3, 2018

Kamaka Hepa basketball

Kamaka Hepa

Texas Longhorns signee Kamaka Hepa of Utqiagvik inched one step closer to representing Team USA at the FIBA Americans U18 Championship in Canada.

A 33-player pool of the country’s finest high school seniors were called into training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Hepa, of Barrow High fame, is now among 18 finalists in a selection process by USA Basketball.

“We had 33 guys come here and all 33 competed hard,” USA U18 and University of Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a USA Basketball news release. “We were all impressed with how much it meant to all of them.”

The team will be announced later this week.

Hepa, a 6-foot-9 forward, is a three-time state champion and three-time Gatorade Player of the Year — twice in Alaska and most recently in Oregon after averaging 16.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.2 blocks and 3.5 assists per game at Portland (Ore.) Jefferson High.