The USA U19 World Cup Team played its first exhibition game since arriving in Egypt, defeating Lithuania 89-66 while being led by two Kentucky Wildcats.
P.J. Washington, who will be a freshman next season in Lexington, scored 18 points while his future teammate Hamidou Diallo tallied 17 of his own.
“I felt good,” Diallo said. “That’s the first time in an official game in a long time, and I felt good. I think I played well, but I’ve got to get better on a bunch of things, I’m still a little rusty, but I felt like I played well and helped my team come up with a W.”
The game took place less than 24 hours after the team had traveled from Colorado to Egypt; a trip over close to 6,900 miles.
“It felt good to get out there and get back on my feet after the flights. I feel like we played well, but there are a bunch of things that we can get better at,” Diallo said.
Head coach John Calipari said that the team must improve as it prepares for the opening game against Iran on July 1.
“We’re not where we need to be defensively. That is the whole key to what we’re doing,” Calipari said. “Offensively, I thought we shared the ball, but we still held it a couple of times where we didn’t need to hold it. We need to have that ball bouncing around the court.”