2009 World Select Team Finalized For April 11 Nike Hoop Summit
March 23, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Nike today announced the roster for the 2009 World Select Team that will compete in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit at 7 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, 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 Team comprised of the top international players, 19-years-old or younger. The game will be televised live nationally by Fox Sports Network (FSN) and webcast live on Yahoo! Sports.
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.
The 2009 World roster features four guards - Matias Nocedal (Vic Girona / Argentina), Edwin Jackson (Nanterre / France), Nikos Pappas (Real Madrid, Spain / Greece) and Mateo Gaynor (Benetton / Argentina); as well as forwards Mamadou Samb (FC Barcelona / Senegal), Tomislav Zubcic (Cibona / Croatia), Milan Macvan (Hemofarm-Stada / Serbia) and Donatas Motiejunas (Aisciai Kaunas / Lithuania); and centers Kevin Seraphin (Cholet / France) and Zhang Dayu (Zhejiang Wanma / China).
The World Team will be led for the fifth consecutive year by respected Australian national teams coach Rob Beveridge. Beveridge will be assisted by Serbia's Marin Sedlacek, who is making his ninth Hoop Summit appearance.
The World Select Team has been assembled by Nike's Consultant of Global Basketball Rich Sheubrooks after consulting with general managers, clubs, federations, scouts and coaches from around the world.
'For the international players, this game opens their minds to different places and different people and cultures and, hopefully, also opens doors in terms of their professional careers,' Sheubrooks said. 'I think this year's team is one of our bigger teams. They are fundamentally sound and come from good basketball programs all over the world. Argentina brings toughness and passion, Europe brings ball skills and fundamentals, while China and Africa bring raw talent and a great deal of potential.'
The United States holds a 9-2 advantage in the Nike Hoop Summit. The two World Team victories came in 1996 in Charlotte, N.C., by a 104-96 margin, and in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas, when, famously, Dirk Nowitzki had 33 points and 14 rebounds in a 104-99 victory.
To date, 87 former USA and World Select players have been drafted by NBA teams and as of January 2009, 47 former USA and 13 former World Team members were playing in the NBA.
The list of World alumni currently in the NBA comprises All-Stars Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), plus Vladimir Radmanovic (Charlotte Bobcats), Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors), Dan Gadzuric (Milwaukee Bucks), Darius Songaila (Washington Wizards), Sergio Rodriguez (Portland Trail Blazers), Yi Jianlian (New Jersey Nets), Luis Scola (Houston Rockets), Roko Ukic (Toronto Raptors), Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), Mouhamed Saer Sene (Oklahoma City Thunder) and, from last season's team, Alexis Ajinca (Charlotte Bobcats).
2009 World Select Team
Point-guard Nocedal is signed to European powerhouse Tau Ceramica and has played for the team in Euroleague action this season. Currently on loan to Vic Girona, Nocedal averaged 14.6 ppg. game playing for Argentina in last year's FIBA Americas U18 Championship. He recorded 15 points in just 16 minutes of action in his team's 77-64 win over the USA in the gold medal game.
Frenchman Jackson also has played at a high-level of European club basketball, having represented his team ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in last season's ULEB Cup, the second tier of European club competition. Jackson, currently on loan in the French Pro B league, performed strongly in last summer's European U20 Championships scoring 11.3 ppg. In the 2008 FIBA U19 World Championship, Jackson tallied 22 points and made 5-of-12 3-point tries in France's 87-82 loss to the USA in second round play.
Pappas, a Greek guard, is currently playing for the Spanish giant Real Madrid after his performances for Greece in last year's U18 European Championship saw him voted the guard of the tournament and to the all-tournament first team having posted 13.4 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 1.5 spg.
Gaynor was a teammate of Nocedal's on their country's FIBA Americas U18 team and is signed to the renowned Italian academy system at the Benetton Treviso club, who have loaned him to Estudiantes de Bahia Blanca in Argentina. In Argentina's 77-64 victory over the U.S. in last summer's FIBA Americas U18 championship game, Gaynor tied for a team high with 16 points and shot 7-of-9 overall, including 2-of-2 from 3-point.
Samb, who originally came from Senegal, represents Africa on the 2009 World Team and has made such an impression in Spanish basketball that he has played for Regal FC Barcelona in this season's Euroleague before resuming his career with their feeder team, WTC Almeda Park Cornella in the LEB Silver.
Zubcic, who plays power forward or center, has also appeared in this season's Euroleague, playing three times for his team Cibona Zagreb. Zubcic also had a strong showing for Croatia in the 2008 U18 European Championship averaging 11.8 ppg. and 8.8 rpg.
Also at the forward position, Macvan is possibly the most experienced player on the 2009 roster, having played over 35 games in European club competition this season alone, representing renowned Serbian team Hemofarm-Stada in the Eurocup and Adriatic League. Macvan also averaged 16.9 ppg., 6.6 rpg. and 3.8 apg. in helping Serbia win the U20 European Championship in Latvia last year. At the 2008 FIBA U19 World Championship, Macvan recorded 15 points in an 82-78 setback to the USA in preliminary play; and he accounted for 19 points and 10 rebounds in his team's 74-69 win over the USA in the gold medal game.
Lithuania's Motiejunas is not far behind Macvan in terms of experience and has been a key player for his club Aisciai Kaunas this season, averaging 15.1 ppg. in the Baltic League. Last summer, the seven-footer played for Lithuania in both the U18 and U20 European Championships, winning silver at both. At the U18 level, he was voted tournament MVP after averaging 18.2 ppg. and 10.2 rpg.
Seraphin has played significant minutes for Cholet in France's Pro A and in European competition this season, as well as representing France at last year's U20 European Championship.
Finally, Dayu will represent China at the Hoop Summit. Dayu is in his third season with the Zhejiang Wanma Cyclones, where he averaged 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 42 games at the top level of the Chinese professional game this season. The MVP of the 2008 Nike All-Asia Camp, he also attended the LeBron James Skills Academy last year where he competed against the best U.S. players.