COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. -- Nojel Eastern was one of the final cuts from the USA U17 team on Tuesday. Despite the less than ideal outcome, Eastern performed well enough to put himself in contention which was a long way from last year when he was forced to watch the U16 tryouts with a boot on his foot.
"Of course watching last year helped," said Eastern, out of Evanston (IL) Township. "Seeing what the coaches wanted out of players and seeing what it takes to make the USA team. I'm just coming out and seeing what I saw last year. Seeing what the people that made did and also what the people that didn't, what they didn't do. So I just wanted to use that to my advantage."
In the spring of 2015, Eastern suffered a dislocated ankle at the Lexington EYBL stop. The injury kept him from playing throughout the summer and into the fall. Now fully healthy, Eastern has been eager to compete against some of the top players in the 2017 and 2018 classes.