Remember when Julian Strawther scored 40 points for Puerto Rico at the U19 World Cup in 2019?
MIES (Switzerland) - Julian Strawther commanded the headlines in basketball news on 23 March 2023 when he knocked down what was arguably the biggest shot in his career so far.
With less than 10 seconds left in the NCAA tournament game between Gonzaga and UCLA, the 20-year-old forward drilled a long-range three-pointer to reclaim the lead for his Gonzaga Bulldogs all the way until the final buzzer.
Those who have been following Strawther's career from an early stage were most likely not surprised by his performance, whether it was his clutch performance in this game against UCLA or during this entire season with Gonzaga.
After all, they've already seen Strawther star as a 17-year-old playing for the Puerto Rico national team at the U19 Basketball World Cup in 2019. Even back then when he was playing against older competition, Strawther was able to end up as the second-best scorer in the competition at 22.0 points per game.
"I went out there and had some of the most amazing memories I'll ever have as a basketball player," Julian told to KREM2 at the time. "Just to be able to play in a [U19] World Cup is one of the most prestigious events that I could play at 17 years old. To go out there and play as good as I did was just an amazing experience."
Who could forget when he dropped 40 points on Russia in the game for 5th place, ranking among the top 10 of most points scored in a single U19 World Cup game?
Considering what we've seen from Strawther at the youth national team level and what he's continued to do at the collegiate level, could he be on course for a senior national team debut at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 which will be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from 25 August to 10 September later this year?
Puerto Rico are set to make their 10th straight appearance in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in this upcoming edition of the competition.