After being named first team all-Sun Belt Conference his sophomore season, Louisiana point guard Elfrid Payton was ready to take his game to the next level.

The 6-3 junior to be from Gretna honed his skills overseas, playing seven games in fifteen days against professionals from China and Lithuania.

Now, he could be just days away from being a member of Team USA.

Payton has survived the first cut and is now a finalist to represent the United States in the FIBA World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Twenty six players were invited to the tryouts in Colorado Springs for the 12-member squad.  The number is down to sixteen and Payton has impressed the coaches in the first practices.

The team is scheduled to be announced Monday night.