This morning the Boiler Basketball twitter teased a major announcement, and it does, indeed seem pretty major. Purdue has been selected to represent the United States at the World University Games in Chinese Taipei:
#Purdue will represent Team USA in the 2017 World University Games in Chinese Taipei. #BoilerUp https://t.co/PRAMMtO1KV— Purdue Boilermakers (@BoilerBall) May 31, 2016
The World University Games are kind of like a mini-olympics. In fact, they are billed as the second largest multi-sport event outside of the Olympics. They involve college-age athletes from all over the world and occur once every other year. If my understanding is correct, Purdue will get to take its entire 2017-18 roster to Taipei to compete in the event.
Obviously, it is very early in the process here, but this seems like a very big honor for Boilermaker basketball. Let's earn that honor by winning the national championship in 2017 and taking it over there.
More information on the games themselves can be found here. Also, more information is here from the full release:
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -The Purdue men's basketball team will represent the United States at the World University Games on August 19-30, 2017, in Chinese Taipei, Purdue officials announced Tuesday.
The Purdue basketball team was selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States in the World University Games. Purdue was selected as the team to represent the U.S. from several other schools that expressed interest.
"We are obviously very excited to represent our country at the World University Games. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our program," head coach Matt Painter sad. "It is a very unique opportunity for an institution to represent our country. This will be an extremely positive and rewarding experience for everyone associated with Purdue basketball. Our players are thrilled to get the opportunity to represent the Stars and Stripes against the best competition in the world."
Twenty-four teams from around the globe will compete in the 2017 Games. There will be four pools of six teams each. Following pool competition, the teams will be seeded for bracket play with the top two teams from each pool battling for a medal.
With more than 150 countries competing in 21 sports, the World University Games are held every two years and are governed by the International University Sports Federation. Only current university student-athletes or recent graduates, born between Jan. 1, 1992, and Dec. 31, 1999, are eligible for the 2017 Games. For Purdue's participation, only U.S. citizens can compete and incoming freshmen and transfers qualify. The Purdue travel party, consisting of 12 competitors and staff (24 total), will spend more than two weeks in Chinese Taipei and live in the athlete village throughout the Games.
It marks just the third time that a collegiate team has represented the country in the World University Games. In 2007, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) participated and finished ninth in Bangkok, Thailand. During the 2015 Games, the University of Kansas represented the Stars and Stripes and took home the Gold medal.
Eighteen players who have represented the USA in the World University Games have gone on to compete in the Olympic Games.
Several Boilermakers on the roster also have international experience. Painter served as the head coach of the U.S. contingent for the World University Games in 2011 in Shenzhen, China, leading the squad to a 7-1 record. Painter has also been an active member of USA Basketball, serving as an assistant coach for the FIBA U19 National Team that won Gold in 2009, while serving on the committee to select the U18 and U19 National Teams.
In addition, Caleb Swanigan, Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas have all been part of medal-winning or tryout teams. Swanigan won a pair of Gold medals as a member of the U17 (2014) and U19 (2015) National Teams.
The tournament will be played under FIBA rules, with the biggest difference being in four, 10-minute quarters and a 24-second shot clock.