UCF's Sosa, Puerto Rico to Open FIBA Event Monday

July 11, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Starting Monday, UCF men's basketball freshman Isaac Sosa will compete against some of the world's best young players when he participates in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Sosa, a member of Puerto Rico's U18 National Team, will suit up for five games in Formosa, Argentina.

Puerto Rico will open the five-day, eight team tournament on Monday versus the Bahamas. On Tuesday, the squad will meet Venezuela. Sosa and his teammates will face the United States on Wednesday. Medal-round competition is set for Thursday and Friday.

Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Uruguay are also participating in the event. The top four finishers at the tournament qualify for the 2009 FIBA U19 Championship.

The United States won the last FIBA Americas U18 Championship, claiming the gold medal in San Antonio, Texas, in 2006. This year's American squad includes guards Malcolm Lee (UCLA) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut). Both players were selected to play in the 2008 McDonald's All-America Game.

UCF head coach Kirk Speraw believes that playing in the tournament will help Sosa prepare for the rigors of Division I basketball.

"This tournament will give Isaac a chance to compete against some elite players. All of the extra time on the court is great for his development," Speraw said. "The whole UCF basketball family will be cheering for Puerto Rico and we hope Isaac has a great experience competing and playing against some of the world's best players."

A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Sosa attended Grandview Prep in Boca Raton and earned Florida Class 1A All-State First-Team honors as a senior in 2007-08. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 19.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds.

Sosa and his teammates spent time training in Puerto Rico and traveled to Argentina on Thursday.

Last summer, Sosa helped Puerto Rico qualify for the 2008 FIBA event. He averaged 11.8 points in five games as Puerto Rico claimed the Centrobasket U17 Championship. In the gold medal game against the Dominican Republic, Sosa totaled seven points in 16 minutes. He also poured in 18 points in a victory over the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In August, Sosa will join a UCF program that finished fourth a year ago in only its third campaign in Conference USA. Speraw's Knights have won 122 games in the last six seasons, which ranks 49th nationally during that span.

Last year, the Knights made their debut at the new UCF Arena. The 10,000-seat venue is one of the finest facilities in the nation.

Season tickets for the 2008-09 campaign are scheduled to go on sale later in July.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also visit www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.