2009 USA Hoop Summit Team Features Nation's Top Prep Talents
Featuring nine of the nation's top-25 ranked high school seniors and including three returning USA Basketball athletes in DeMarcus Cousins (LeFlore H.S. / Mobile, Ala.), Leslie McDonald (Briarcrest H.S. / Memphis, Tenn.) and Mason Plumlee (Christ School / Arden, N.C.), USA Basketball today announced the roster for the 2009 USA Men's Junior National Select Team that will compete in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit. The USA and World Select teams will face off at 7 p.m. (PDT) on April 11, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
The Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premiere annual basketball game featuring America's top male high-school-age players taking on a World Select Team comprised of the top international players, 19-years-old or younger.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit, with reserved courtside seats priced $25 and $50 and all other lower bowl tickets $6 if purchased before April 11, and $10 day of the game. Tickets can be purchased through the Rose Quarter Ticket Office, by calling 877-789-ROSE (7673) or by visiting www.rosequarter.com.
In addition to Cousins, McDonald and Plumlee, the 10-man roster also features USA newcomers and prep standouts: Avery Bradley (Findlay Prep / Henderson, Nev.); Derrick Favors (South Atlanta H.S. / Atlanta, Ga.); Abdul Gaddy (Bellarmine Prep / Tacoma, Wash.); Xavier Henry (Putnam City H.S. / Oklahoma City, Okla.); John Henson (Sickles H.S. / Tampa, Fla.); Mike Moser (Grant H.S. / Portland, Ore.); and John Wall (Word of God Academy / Raleigh, N.C.).
'The challenge is to put together a roster of players that not only excel as individuals, but also a roster that can come together as a team in just a few days,' said Don Showalter (Mid-Prairie H.S., Iowa), chair of the player selection committee. 'This team is extremely strong in the back court, with Bradley, Gaddy, McDonald and Wall, and that will be a real strength. But also, you join Cousins, Favors and Henry with our other forwards and you have some very solid combinations. Even though we don't have that seven-footer, I think this team lends itself to exactly what we want to do, which is play an up-tempo game. We want to make the international team play our style.'
Named head coach of the 2009 USA Team was John Olive (Torrey Pines H.S. / San Diego, Calif.), who returns to the USA sideline after helping the red, white and blue to a 98-78 win as an assistant coach in the 2008 Nike Hoop Summit. Assisting Olive will be Antwan Harris (Washburn H.S. / Minneapolis, Minn. / Pulley Panthers AAU), who first coached for USA Basketball as an assistant coach under Olive at the 2007 Youth Development Festival.
'John is a great choice for this year's head coach because he knows this level of play, and he understands this competition,' Showalter continued. 'And Antwan Harris actually was John's assistant coach in the 2007 Festival, so we know they work well together. They have the experience it will take to produce a win for USA Basketball.'
The 2009 USA Team was selected by the USA Basketball Men's Junior Development Committee. Chaired by Showalter, the committee also includes AAU appointees William Anderson (AAU YMOCA, Memphis, Tenn.), William Brown (AAU Boo Williams, Norfolk, Va.) and Rod Seaford (AAU Charlotte Royal, N.C.); National Federation of State High School Associations appointees Todd Buller (Pacific Grove H.S., Calif.) and Eric Flannery (St. Edwards High School, Ohio); as well as athlete representatives Kermit Homes (1999 USA Pan American Games and 1997 USA Tournament of the Americas teams) and Jimmy Oliver (1998 USA World Championship Team).
The World Select Team roster, which is expected to be announced in March, will consist of 11 players, age 19-years-old or younger from FIBA's five geographic zones: FIBA Africa, FIBA Americas, FIBA Asia, FIBA Europe and FIBA Oceania, with the approved sanctioning of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the world governing body of international basketball.
2009 USA Junior National Select Team
All of the named U.S. players rank among Rival.com's Rivals150 and ESPNU's Class of 2009 rankings, including the top four ranked players on both lists.
ESPNU lists Henry, Favors, Henson and Cousins as first through fourth, respectively, in its class of 2009 overall rankings, followed by Wall at No. 6, Bradley at No. 7, Plumlee at No. 11, Gaddy at No. 16, McDonald at No. 25 and Moser at No. 63.
Rivals150 ranks Wall as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2009, followed by Cousins at No. 2, Henry at No. 3, Favors at No. 4, Henson at No. 6, Bradley at No. 8, Gaddy at No. 13, Plumlee at No. 42, McDonald at No. 55 and Moser at No. 83.
By ESPNU's position rankings, the 2009 USA roster features the top two point guards in Wall and Gaddy, the top two shooting guards in Henry and Bradley; Favors and Henson are one and two in the power forwards list; and Cousins and Plumlee are No. 1 and 2 at the center position. Additionally, McDonald lists as the No. 7 shooting guard, and Moser as the No. 15 small forward.
Two members of the 2009 USA squad return to USA Basketball after helping the red, white and blue tally a 4-1 record and capture the silver medal at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men in Formosa, Argentina. McDonald averaged 4.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 14.4 minutes, while Plumlee contributed 5.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.
McDonald donned his first USA jersey alongside Cousins at the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival. McDonald averaged 12.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game to help the USA Red Team to a perfect 5-0 tally and a gold medal. Cousins played for USA Blue, which wrapped up a 2-3 tally and the silver medal, and averaged 9.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Among all tournament participants, McDonald led the field in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.5), ranked tied for sixth in field goal percentage (.571) and seventh in assists per game, while Cousins ranked fifth in rebounding.
Seven of the 10 players have signed a National Letter of Intent with basketball programs for the 2009-10 season, representing four Division I conferences. Playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference will be Henson and McDonald at the University of North Carolina and Plumlee at Duke University; Bradley signed with the University of Texas and will compete in the Big 12 Conference; 2009-10 Conference USA action will include Henry at the University of Memphis; and the Pacific 10 Conference will feature Gaddy at the University of Washington and Moser at UCLA. Additionally, Favors verbally committed to attend Georgia Tech, while Cousins and Wall remain undecided.
Eight of the 10 USA players were selected to play in the 2009 Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game on April 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York, including Bradley, Cousins, Favors, Gaddy, Henry, Henson, Plumlee and Wall.
John Olive, USA Head Coach
Overall, Olive owns a 4-2 record in two previous USA Basketball coaching assignments. In 2008, he helped the USA to a 98-78 win as an assistant in the 2008 Nike Hoop Summit, and in 2007, he led the USA White Team to a 3-2 record and silver medal as a head coach at the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Youth Development Festival.
'Having been the assistant coach last year, I obviously got a good feel for how USA Basketball and the international community prepare for the Hoop Summit. It's an awesome experience. I'm excited, and I'm proud to represent the United States,' Olive said. 'And I'm also apprehensive. It's a very tough game. It's very important that our players understand the importance of this game and the effort it will take for us to win.
'It's outstanding to be able to coach with Antwan Harris again. He's a very knowledgeable coach, and he's extraordinarily good with the players. His style is a little different from mine, which I think is good. We can compliment each other, and I'm really looking forward to working with him again.'
The head coach at Torrey Pines High School since 1997-98, Olive has piloted the school to five league titles and one state sectional championship, which came in 2001. Additionally, he was tabbed the 2001 North County Coach of the Year.
Olive led his team to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division I San Diego Sectional semifinals in both 2008 and 2007, with his teams tallying a 22-8 record in 2007-08 and 24-7 mark in 2006-07. As of Feb. 16, Olive's 2008-09 squad has compiled a 21-4 record.
Prior to taking the job at Torrey Pines, Olive was the head coach at Loyola Marymount University (Calif.) for five seasons (1992-93 through 1996-97). Perhaps his best season was in 1995-96 as the Lions went 18-11, a turnaround from the previous year's 13-15 mark, and Olive was honored as the 1996 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at his alma matter, Villanova University (Pa.) in the 1985-86 season. During his seven-year stint (through 1991-92) with the Wildcats, Olive aided the program to a 129-104 (.554 winning percentage) and six postseason berths. Competing in four NCAA Tournaments (1986, 1988, 1990, 1991) and two NITs (1987, 1989) during that span, the Wildcats advanced as far as the 1988 Elite Eight and the 1989 NIT quarterfinals.
After playing two years (1978-79 and 1979-80) for the Los Angeles Clippers, Olive was called upon by the Clippers for three years between 1982-83 and 1984-85 to play a pair of off-court roles for the franchise: community relations director and college scouting director.
A four-year starter for Villanova (1973-74 through 1976-77), Olive helped catapult the Wildcats to a 23-10 mark and the 1977 NIT Final Four in his senior season. He graduated from Villanova with a bachelor of arts in economics and has been enshrined in the Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame.
Antwan Harris, USA Assistant Coach
The associate head coach at Washburn since the 2003-04 season, Harris also has been a head coach in the Howard Pulley Panthers AAU program since 1995, where he mainly works with high school juniors.
'Being selected to coach for USA basketball on any level is a privilege, and I'm honored that I was given the opportunity to be apart of such a great event,' Harris said. 'I had the pleasure of working with John Olive in 2007, and I look forward to working with him again, as well as this impressive roster.'
With Harris on the sidelines, Washburn has produced a 61-39 slate (through 2007-08). Highlights of his tenure at Washburn include a Minnesota Class 3A Section 5 runner-up in 2007.
During his 12-year stint with the AAU Panthers, no less than 65 of his players have earned NCAA Division I scholarships, 10 have collected conference Freshman of the Year honors and four more have been tabbed all-freshman in their respective conferences.
Some of the USA Basketball athletes who have been mentored by Harris while in the Howard Pulley Panthers program include 2001 USA U21 World Championship Team gold medalist Troy Bell, 1998 USA Goodwill Games Team gold medalist Khalid El-Amin; 2002 USA U18 National Team bronze medalist Kris Humphries of the Toronto Raptors; and 2005 USA Hoop Summit Team member Brandon Rush of the Indiana Pacers.
Amassing a stellar 276-99 (.736 winning percentage) record with the Pulley Panthers, Harris has piloted teams to seven tournament titles and six runner-up finishes, while advancing as far as 12 tournament semifinals and five quarterfinals.
Harris is a 1997 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's of science in kinesiology and a minor in coaching. He remained at Minnesota where he earned his master's of education in applied kinesiology in 1998 and his master's of arts degree in kinetics in 1999. In 2008, he earned a specialist degree in education and leadership from St. Cloud State University.
Nike Hoop Summit
The Nike Hoop Summit returns to Portland for a second consecutive year in 2009. The USA owns a 9-2 advantage in the Nike Hoop Summit series, including five USA victories from 2004 through 2008 and wins in 2000, 1999, 1997 and 1995. The World Select Team came out on top in 1998 and 1996.
The premiere event for high-school age players, 87 former USA and World Select Team members have been drafted by NBA teams, including 13 players in the 2008 draft. In fact, the top three picks in the 2008 NBA Draft were Hoop Summit alumni, including Derrick Rose as the No. 1 pick by Chicago, Michael Beasley at No. 2 by Miami and O.J. Mayo at No. 3 by Minnesota.
As of January 2009, 47 former USA players and 13 former World team members are active in the NBA, and 38 former Hoop Summit players are currently competing on the collegiate level.
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.