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Alex Kirk a Finalist for World University Games

The New Mexico Lobos' rangy center survives the first cut, becoming one of 16 finalists that will continue to compete for a roster spot in Colorado Springs.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Kirk enjoyed an enormously successful 2012-13 season with the New Mexico Lobos, but it appears his star-studded campaign won't come to a screeching halt just because of the offseason. Today it was announced that UNM's seven-foot center is one of 16 finalists competing for the 2013 USA Basketball Men's World University Games Team.

One final cut will be announced prior to July 1, whittling the hopefuls from 16 down to 12 and fleshing out the country's official roster. Teammate Kendall Williams--the 2012-13 Mountain West Player of the Year--did not make the cut, eliminating New Mexico's chances of sending two players to the esteemed squad.

"I'm really excited to have made the first cut," said Kirk. "I still have a lot of work ahead of me to go to Russia, but it's nice to be guaranteed a few more practices."

Players will continue to battle at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co., initially hosting 26 of the best college players in the nation.

The 2013 World University Games commence in Kazan, Russia from July 7-16. Coaching the USA team is Bob McKillop from Davidson College, joined by assistant coaches John Beilein from the University of Michigan and Frank Martin from the University of South Carolina.