Roman Catholic High School rising sophomore Jalen Duren is off to a great start this summer. Duren, a 6-foot-10, 210-pound power forward, helped USA Men’s basketball team defeat Canada 94-77 to capture the FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal on Sunday at Guilherme Paraense Arena in Belem, Brazil.
The USA U16 team put together a 6-0 record while picking up their sixth consecutive title. Duren, an All-Catholic League standout, had 10 points and eight rebounds in the victory over Canada. He was also named to the all-tournament team. Chris Livingston, from Buchtel High School in Akron, Ohio, and Duren were key players during the tournament. Livingston scored 23 points and was named MVP.
“Chris’ motor and his energy and effort were contagious, and we saw that when we got to the tournament,” said USA U16 head coach Mike Jones from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland in a statement. “I don’t know who else you could have given that to just because of the way he played and how he affected everyone else’s energy. And then Jalen, obviously people can look at Jalen and say ‘hey, this kid is only 15-years-old’ but for him, he’s grown a lot. His effort, his focus, his passion that he played with today, if he does that, he’s going to play this game for a long time. Those two guys definitely deserved to be on the all-tournament team.”
Roman Catholic head coach Matt Griffin was really thrilled with Duren’s performance with USA Basketball.
“It’s an incredible experience for a young man to be selected on the 12-man roster out of all of the high school players in the country to represent the United States of America, represent Roman Catholic, represent his family and representing Philadelphia basketball,” Griffin said. “He not only went out there and got a chance to participate, but actually went out there and excelled.
“He made the all-tournament team and really put himself on a international platform as one of the best players in the world at his age. Most importantly, he got an opportunity to meet other really talented and hard working young men and travel the world.
“That’s something special and unique and something he’ll be able to cherish and remember forever. I’m just really proud of him and excited for him.”