Nike Hoop Summit Player Profile: Michael Gilchrist
A gold medal winner with USA Basketball at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany, Michael Gilchrist helped his East Team to a 111-96 victory and earned co-MVP honors in the 2011 McDonaldís All-America Game on March 30, finishing with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with his four assists and one steal while shooting 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
The 6-7 forward was just as impressive for the red, white and blue this past summer, averaging team second-bests of 15.0 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game to help the USA to an 8-0 record.
And, no surprise, he also has starred for St. Patrick High School the past four seasons, where he led his team to a New Jersey Tournament of Champions state title as a sophomore in 2009 and averaged 18.0 points per game as a senior to help the Celtics to a 26-1 record, after falling to St. Anthony in the North Jersey Non-Public B championship.
The 2009 and 2011 Gatorade New Jersey State Player of the Year, Gilchrist recently talked with USABasketball.com about the upcoming Nike Hoop Summit, his international basketball experience and the conclusion of his prep career.
Are you looking forward to reconnecting with your USA teammates?
Itís going to be a lot of fun getting back together with those guys. I have a gold medal with them, and I had a lot of fun with the group.
What do you expect to face from the World Team in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit?
A lot of talent and a great team that plays together.
What was the biggest challenge you encountered while playing international basketball?
Being away from home was the hardest thing. We did good though, as a group. They are like my brothers now.
What do you think of international rules?
It was a lot different from high school basketball. I enjoyed the whole experience, but it was a lot different.
What made Kentucky a good fit for you?
It was Coach Cal in general. I love Coach Cal, and the players that will be going there with me Anthony Davis, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer, who is on the World Team.†
Have you talked with Kyle about playing against him in the Nike Hoop Summit?
A little bit. I wanted to have fun with him, so I talked a little bit of trash, but nothing serious. We like to play around.
What is your favorite training routine or drill?
I love working out. There is not one drill that Iíd rather do.
What is your least favorite training routine or drill?
I donít really have a least favorite either.
Where is the most room for improvement in your game?
Just being a leader on the floor at all times. Thatís one thing.
Who do you most like to be compared to?
I donít really have a player I compare myself to. I like to be myself at all times. Iím focused on my game and what I can do to get better.
What helps you stay motivated?
My father and my uncle that have both passed.
How does it feel as your high school season comes to a close?
Itís kind of sad, but it is what it is now. I had a lot of fun, so it was just a blessing.