We Are the World
Plenty of talent on display at Nike Hoop Summit.
It was us against them. The good ol’ USA vs. the World.
Then again, doesn’t it always seem as if it’s that way?
All kidding aside, the Rose Garden played host to the 13th annual Nike Hoop Summit over the weekend and fans in attendance were treated to an entertaining affair.
The 2010 Junior National Select Team took on the World Select Team. And while Team USA looked lethargic at times, the boys in Red, White and Blue managed to rally from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter and ended up with a 101-97 victory in Portland, Ore.
Our boy, Wendell Maxey, did a good job of covering the event for SLAMonline. Click here to read the details, his accounts of all the festivities.
For those interested in some additional information about the individuals in the house for both sides, the USA and World Select Teams alike, look no further. We’ve got you covered. Here’s an inside look at the cats who left a lasting impression.
Everyone might as well get to know these PUNKS now given the fact that you’re going to be hearing plenty about all of them for quite sometime. Many of these youngsters are going to be playing college ball on American soil in the very near future.
Kyrie Irving | 6-1 | G | St. Patrick | 2010
With Brandon Knight, Will Barton, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall on the roster, there was no shortage of talent in the backcourt for Team USA. Nevertheless, Irving emerged as the go-to-guard as he ran things from the point. The heady floor general created shots for himself, as well as everyone else around him. His 15 points and 5 assists are good indications of just that. Moving forward, it’s reasonable to expect more of the same from Irving and we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he puts up similar numbers once he sets foot on campus at Duke.
Harrison Barnes | 6-6 | F | Ames | 2010
The nation’s premier prospect around certainly played the part for Uncle Sam, scoring 27 points in 29 minutes. Barnes was clutch down the stretch, hitting three-pointers on the offensive end of the floor. On defense, he was determined to make things difficult for the dude in the other jersey. He’s heading to North Carolina next year and best believe he’ll an make an immediate impact for the Tar Heels. Failing to qualify for March Madness isn’t going to happen, not with Barnes in the mix at Chapel Hill.
Terrence Jones | 6-8 | F | Jefferson | 2010
Felt right at home in the Pacific Northwest. It makes sense too considering Jones attends high school nearby, approximately a handful of miles away from the Rose Garden. In front of friends and family, he scored 15 points and added 4 rebounds and 3 blocks for the Junior National Select Team. It was an effort that had NCAA Division I coaches drooling. And trust us, he’s got plenty of potential suitors. One of the country‘s top unsigned seniors, Jones has offers from seemingly every powerhouse program out there.
Jared Sullinger | 6-8 | C | Northland | 2010
By most accounts, he might be undersized to be the featured man in the middle. That, however, didn’t prevent Sullinger from dominated things down in the low block. He scored 22 points, on 11-14 shooting from the field, for Team USA and added 8 rebounds. Had Sullinger not been saddled with foul trouble, who knows what kind of numbers he would’ve ended up with. Evan Turner recently decided to enter the NBA Draft, but Ohio State can take consolation in the fact that Sullinger is on his way.
Patric Young | 6-8 | F | Providence | 2010
Was one of the final players to make the cut for Team USA. Ultimately, the decision to add his name to the list was a good idea. His sheer athleticism came in handy against a World Select Team that featured several skilled post players. The Florida-bound big man was active around the basket from start to finish, particularly on the defensive end of the floor where he was blocking and altering shots with regularity. His 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 swats aren’t necessarily indicative of the impact he made.
Meyers Leonard | 7-0 | C | Robinson | 2010
Once Tobias Harris went down with an injury, the Junior National Select Team was in need of another body to round out the roster. Leonard got the nod. However, he didn’t have much time to get acclimated to his new surroundings, or teammates, for that matter. As a result, he played a mere eight minutes and finished with 3 points and a block. Being a part of Team USA is an honor, so we’re imagining that Leonard, bound for Illinois, was happy to be along for the ride.
Enes Kanter | 6-10 | C | Stoneridge Prep | 2010
Might have been under the radar beforehand, but he sure isn’t anymore. The native of Turkey made a name for himself by nearly single-handedly keeping the World Select Team close in this one. Kanter was 13-21 from the field and finished with 34 points to break the single-game scoring record previously held by Dirk Nowitzki, who had 33 points way back in 1998. It’s also worth mentioning that Kanter had 13 rebounds. Team USA had no answer for him. Around this time next year, he’ll be playing for John Calipari at Kentucky.
Nikola Mirotic | 6-10 | F | Faymasa Palencia | 2010
The product of Montenegro is isn’t your typical teenager finishing up high school or prep school in an effort to be better prepared for life at the college level. Mirotic is a what you’d call a semi-seasoned pro who barely met the age requirement for the World Select Team. And his experience was evident throughout the course of the game. He had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. By the time 2011 rolls around, Mirotic could end up having his name called in the first round of the NBA Draft with the rest of these guys.
Tristan Thompson | 6-9 | F | Findlay Prep | 2010
This north of the border baller is from Canada. Go figure. He’s the country’s pride and joy, in fact. Rest assured, Thompson’s game is tailor made for the next level, here in the states. Suppose that’s why Texas was all over him, courting him throughout his prep years in Nevada before finally landing a commitment. Thompson held his own against Team USA en route to finishing with a respectable 14 points. He was a match-up nightmare, running with the threes out on the wing and banging inside with the fours.
Cory Joseph | 6-2 | G | Findlay Prep | 2010
Consider him Thompson’s partner in crime. Joseph represented Canada as well, although his numbers against the Americans were a little deceiving: 6 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds is nothing to right home about. The lack of production doesn’t figure to tarnish his reputation as one of the top point guards in his class. Joseph is, without a doubt, the most sought-after recruit still available on the market. Go ahead and count UConn and Villanova among the many interested schools. Our guess is, he’ll follow Thompson to Austin. Hook em’ Horns.
There you have it, a who’s who list of some of the best players that Team USA had to offer. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to talk about the rest of the prospects in uniform for the Junior National Select Team. With all the talent assembled, narrowing things down was difficult, to be sure.
Make no mistake, the World Select Team had its fair share of players step up their respective games and deliver memorable performances against Team USA, which had to be considered a heavy favorite in this game. You got a glimpse of the cream of the crop.
Trust us, we could go on and on about all the upside in the house at the Rose Garden for the Nike Hoops Summit. But there’s not enough time to cover everyone and everything that took place. Remember this, if nothing else: These PUNKS are the future of the game. No doubt.
Photos courtesy of Sam Forencich