World Select Team Announced For 2015 Nike Hoop Summit
The 11-member World Select Team roster today was announced for the 18th annual Nike Hoop Summit that will be played at 12 p.m. (PDT) on April 11 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The Nike Hoop Summit is a premier annual basketball game that features the world’s best basketball players age 19 years old or younger taking on a USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that is comprised of elite, American high school seniors. An incredible 165 Hoop Summit alumni have been drafted in the NBA, and as of March 10, 2015, 90 U.S. and World Team alumni were active in the NBA, comprising nearly one-quarter of the league.
The 2015 World Team features guard Jamal Murray (Orangeville Prep/Canada), who returns for his second Nike Hoop Summit appearance, having scored 10 points to go with 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the 2014 game, as well as guards Federico Mussini (Reggio Emilia/Italy), George de Paula (Pinheiros/Brazil) and Stefan Peno (FC Barcelona/Serbia).
The team features forwards Nedim Buza (OKK Spars Sarajevo/Bosnia & Herzegovina), Ben Simmons (Montverde Academy, FL/Australia), Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American H.S., NY/Mali) and Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, Ontario/Australia).
The global squad is completed with center Tai Wynyard (Rangitoto College/New Zealand) and forward/centers Skal Labissiere (Reach Your Dream Preparatory Academy, TN/Haiti) and Zhou Qi (Xinjiang Flying Tigers/China).
For a fifth-consecutive year, the World Team will be led by Canada’s Roy Rana, with Marin Sedlacek of Serbia serving as the assistant coach for a 15th-straight year.
“It's an incredible honor to once again be part of Nike Hoop Summit, the most impactful event in global youth basketball,” Rana said. “I am excited to lead a very talented roster from across the globe, and we look forward to another huge challenge versus the USA. Both teams are loaded with the future of professional basketball. It will be a week to remember for all the athletes and for many a life changing experience.”
Murray, currently at Orangeville Prep in Ontario, followed his strong Hoop Summit performance with an even better showing in last summer’s FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai, where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists for Canada.
Mussini plays for Reggio Emilia in Serie A, the highest level of professional basketball in his native Italy, where he is averaging 4.3 points in 17.2 minutes per game. He has been even more impressive in the prestigious Eurocup tournament, averaging 8.2 points over his 10 games. For Italy, Mussini enjoyed a standout FIBA Europe U18 Championship in Turkey last year, leading the tournament in scoring with 22.6 points per game and being named to the all-tournament first team.
From Brazil, de Paula has graduated from the junior to the senior team at the E.C. Pinheiros/Sky Sao Paulo club in Brazil’s NBB. He has represented his national team at U17 and U18 levels, playing in last summer’s FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs. Colorado, where he averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game to go with 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game..
Peno, a member of the Serbia team that won bronze at last summer’s 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, plays for the prestigious European powerhouse FC Barcelona in Spain’s ACB league. Most of his time this season has been spent with FC Barcelona II, the feeder club of FC Barcelona, but he made his debut for the full senior team in a victory over CAI Zaragoza in December. At the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, he averaged 10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game while shooting 41.7 percent form 3-point.
Buza, a forward, played for the full senior Bosnia and Herzegovina national team in 2014, making three appearances against Great Britain and Iceland as his country won their group and qualified for Eurobasket 2015. Buza, who plays his club basketball for OKK Spars Sarajevo, also found time last summer to lead his country to the gold medal in the FIBA Europe U20 Championship Division B tournament.
A forward from Australia, Simmons is currently at Montverde Academy High School in Florida and has committed to play for LSU in the NCAA next season. He was part of the Australian team that won silver at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Lithuania in 2012 and has also played in his homeland for the Bulleen Boomers in the Big V state league. He currently is ranked as the No. 1 high school recruit in the United States by ESPN.
Diallo is another World Team member at high school in the United States, playing at Our Savior New America High School in New York. From Mali, he played for his country at the FIBA Africa U16 Championship in Egypt in 2011. He came to the U.S. two years later and appeared in the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic international game.
At the center position, Wynyard is from Rangitoto College in Auckland but has committed to play in the NCAA in 2015-16 for the University of Kentucky. He played in the New Zealand NBL for the Super City Rangers in 2014 before signing for the New Zealand Breakers, who play in Australia’s NBL, where he has mostly seen time with their junior team.
Like Wynyard, Labissiere has committed to Kentucky and currently is ranked as the No. 3 high school recruit in the United States by ESPN. After moving to the U.S. from his native Haiti in 2010, he located in Memphis, Tennessee, and is currently playing at RYD Prep.
Also at the forward position, Maker is a high school teammate of Murray’s at Orangeville Prep in Ontario. Originally from South Sudan, Maker is now an Australian national and considered an exciting and raw talent, having come to the sport only recently.
Finally, China’s Zhou plays for Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the CBA and is averaging 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in 31 games for his club this season. At the international level, he was a member of the China team that won gold at the 2014 FIBA Asia U18 Championship, where he averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and led the tournament in blocks, with 2.7.
Rana currently has compiled a 2-2 record in the Nike Hoop Summit having become in 2013 the first coach in Hoop Summit history to lead the World Team team to back-to-back victories. Rana is a nine-year veteran of Canadian national team basketball and was appointed head coach of Canada’s Junior National Team in 2012, leading them to bronze medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Brazil and sixth place in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague.
Rana led Canada to bronze at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany in 2010, and his international honors also include two bronze medals and three silver medals with Canada at the Nike Global Challenge from 2006-12.
The United States holds a 12-5 advantage in the Nike Hoop Summit. In addition to the victories in 2012 and 2013, the other World team wins came in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a 104-96 margin; in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas, when, famously, Dirk Nowitzki recorded 33 points and 14 rebounds in a 104-99 victory; and in 2009 by a 97-89 margin in Portland, Oregon.
The list of World Team Nike Hoop Summit alumni now playing for NBA teams includes: Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans); Andrea Bargnani (New York Knicks); Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers); Anthony Bennett (Minnesota Timberwolves); Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Hornets); Clint Capela (Houston Rockets); Omri Casspi (Sacramento Kings); Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers); Dante Exum (Utah Jazz); Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic); Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma Thunder); Damien Inglis (Milwaukee Bucks); Cory Joseph (San Antonio Spurs); Enes Kanter (Oklahoma City Thunder); Sergey Karasev (Brooklyn Nets); Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs); Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls); Donatas Motiejunas (Houston Rockets); Lucas Riva Nogueira (Toronto Raptors); Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks); Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs); Dennis Schröder (Atlanta Hawks); Luis Scola (Indiana Pacers); Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards); Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavliers); and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves).
Tickets for the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit are on sale now, and reserved courtside seats are $35 and $50, and lower bowl tickets start at just $10. Group tickets are available for as low as $4. Service charges apply. Tickets are available through the Rose Quarter Box Office, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at usab.com/nikehoopsummit.