Before beginning his collegiate career with the Red Storm in the fall, St. John’s freshman Rafael Pinzon will compete on the international stage this summer with the Puerto Rican national team when it travels to Latvia for the U19 World Cup.
Pinzon, who starred at Long Island Lutheran High School alongside St. John’s teammate Drissa Traore, will headline Puerto Rico’s 12-man roster for the event beginning on July 3.
“We’re thrilled that Rafael was selected to represent Puerto Rico in the U19 World Cup,” said St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson. “In addition to providing an unforgettable experience, international basketball helps to expand a player’s skillset and knowledge of the game. We’ll be watching and cheering for him here in Queens.”
This will not be Pinzon’s first go-around with the Puerto Rican national squad, as the 6-foot-6 guard averaged 16.2 points and 2.6 assists at the 2019 Centrobasket U17 Championship, including a 28-point showing in the semifinals. The Puerto Rican team finished second in that tournament, securing a spot in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship that was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinzon had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists in the championship game against Mexico.
At this year’s U19 World Cup, which will be held in the Latvian cities of Riga and Daugavpils, Puerto Rico will look to advance out of Group B, which also features Iran, Serbia and Latvia.
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