is widely regarded as the top class of 2011 basketball player in the United States.
Now, the 6-foot-7 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) forward could be making a push to be known as the top 17-year old in the world.
Gilchrist scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Friday as the United States beat Argentina, 82-70, to open the FIBA Under-17 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
"We had too many turnovers to really put Argentina away early," USA and Mid-Prairie head coach Don Showalter told FIBA.com. "Overall, I like the way our team played together as a unit."
Spurred by Gilchrist's monster rebounding effort, the USA dominated Argentina on the glass, 57-35. Connecticut big man Andre Drummond and future North Carolina Tar Heel James McAdoo also made a major contribution by combining for 19 boards.
"The U.S. players backed us down under the basket," Argentina coach Enrique Tolcachier said. "They simply were stronger."
Recent Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) addition Quinn Cook added 14 points for the United States with Bradley Beal of Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) tallying 11. Marquis Teague of Pike (Indianapolis, Ind.) was the lead distributor with five assists.
The United States and Argentina are vying to become two of four teams from Group A (six teams) to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
In other action Tuesday, Lithuania beat China 85-72 behind 20 points from Mantas Mockevicius, Serbia dominated Egypt 99-67 and Poland trounced Australia, 71-54.