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Jahlil Okafor

2015 USA Junior National Select Team Ready To Take On The World Team Today

  • Date:
    Apr 11, 2015

WHAT: 18th Annual Nike Hoop Summit


WHEN: Saturday, April 11 @ 12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

INTERNATIONAL TV: Sportklub (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia & Slovenia); Guangdong TV (China); Le TV (China); Tencent (China); Now Sports (Hong Kong); Sky Sport (Italy, Republic of San Marino & Vatican City); ESPN (Oceania, Latin America & Caribbean); Astro SuperSport (Malaysia); (Philippines); Taiwan Mobile [myVideo] (Taiwan); Videoland (Taiwan).

USA ROSTER: Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic/Union, N.J.); Jaylen Brown (Wheeler H.S./Alpharetta, Ga.); Jalen Brunson (Adlai E. Stevenson H.S./Lincolnshire, Ill.); Chase Jeter (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.); Brandon Ingram (Kinston H.S./Kinston, N.C.); Luke Kennard (Franklin H.S./Franklin, Ohio); Malik Newman (Callaway H.S./Jackson, Miss.); Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.); Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); Allonzo Trier (Findlay Prep/Seattle, Wash.); and Stephen Zimmerman (Bishop Gorman H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.).

WORLD TEAM ROSTER: Nedim Buza (OKK Spars Sarajevo/Bosnia & Herzegovina); Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American H.S., NY/Mali); Skal Labissiere (Reach Your Dream Preparatory Academy, TN/Haiti); Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, Ontario/Australia); Jamal Murray (Orangeville Prep/Canada); Federico Mussini (Reggio Emilia/Italy), George de Paula (Pinheiros/Brazil); Stefan Peno (FC Barcelona/Serbia); Zhou Qi (Xinjiang Flying Tigers/China); Ben Simmons (Montverde Academy, FL/Australia); and Tai Wynyard (Rangitoto College/New Zealand).

The 18th annual Nike Hoop Summit will see the USA Junior National Select Team take on the World Select Team in a one-game battle at 12 p.m. (PDT) on April 11 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Played under international rules, the Nike Hoop Summit pits America's top high school seniors against the best basketball players from around the world who are 19 years old or younger.

USA teams have compiled a 12-5 advantage in the series, including an 84-73 win in 2014 that saw the recent NCAA champion Duke trio of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow combine for 43 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.

Ten of the 11 athletes on the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team roster have won at least one gold medal while playing for the red, white and blue, which should bode well for the USA squad. Given the talent on the 2015 World Team, it should be a tough game for both sides, which translates to a great viewing opportunity for the fans around the world.

What will fans see tomorrow?

“People can expect an extremely competitive game, both teams have a high level of talent combined with a ton of motivation to win the game,” said USA head coach Eric Flannery (St. Edward H.S., Ohio), who was an assistant coach for the 2013 USA U16 National Team and 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team, both of which claimed gold. “There is a great deal of pride on both sides to win, there is a lot of individual pride as well as national or international pride. 

“Our plan is to use our depth to speed the game up, creating a high pace and control tempo. We also believe we have some favorable matchups that we will try and exploit. The international team has great size, length and athleticism that gives them a strong advantage on the glass and on the interior.”

For 2015 World Team head coach Roy Rana, who has captured victories in two (2012, 2013) of the four (2011-14) Nike Hoop Summit games in which he has coached, keeping turnovers to a minimum and rebounding are two keys for his team. 

“I think for us it really comes down to can we protect the basketball, limit turnovers then compete on the glass,” said Rana of Canada. “For the most part those are the critical areas, those are the possessions where the game is won or lost. The ability to share the ball, move the ball and get quality shots is important too.”

“It remains to be seen how this team compares with other years but I feel we've done a good job preparing the guys and they've worked hard. They're a good bunch of kids who've been a pleasure to work with.”

2015 ESPN 100
How much talent is listed on the two teams' rosters?  Fourteen of ESPN's top 23 recruits are found on the two teams' rosters. The World squad features the No. 1 (Simmons), No. 3 (Labissiere) and No. 11 (Diallo)  ranked players in ESPN's Class of 2015, while the USA team is talent packed with the No. 2 (Brown), No. 4 (Newman), No. 6 (Rabb), No. 8 (Swanigan), No. 9 (Jeter), No. 10 (Zimmerman), No. 12 (Ingram), No. 13 (Briscoe), No. 15 (Trier), No. 17 (Brunson) and No. 23 (Kennard) ranked prep players. 

Hoop Summit Players of Note:
Six USA Hoop Summit athletes have advanced to compete in the Olympic Games, including Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1995); Anthony Davis (2011), Kevin Durant (2006); Kevin Garnett (1995); Kevin Love (2007); and Stephon Marbury (1995).

Eight Hoop Summit alumni have been chosen No. 1 in the NBA Draft, including the past five No. 1 picks. An incredible 165 former USA and World Select Team members have been drafted by NBA teams, including 55 who were been selected among the first 10 draftees.

More recent U.S. players of note include: Stanley Johnson (2014); Tyus Jones (2014); Jahlil Okafor (2014); Theo Pinson (2014); Justise Winslow (2014); Aaron Gordon (2013); Shabazz Muhammad (2012); Jabari Parker (2013); Julius Randle (2013).

Legacy Of NBA Success
An incredible 165 former USA and World Select Team members have been drafted by NBA teams, including 14 players in the 2014 NBA Draft and 11 players in 2013.

World Team alumni Andrew Wiggins went No. 1 in 2014, while another international player, Anthony Bennett, went No. 1 in 2013.

Since the first Nike Hoop Summit in 1995, eight Hoop Summit alumni have been chosen No. 1 in the NBA Draft, including the past five No. 1 picks.

All told, 55 players have been selected among the first 10 draftees.

The first three draft picks were former Nike Hoop Summit players in 2014 Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embid, in 2012 Anthony Davis, Michael KiddMGilchrist and Bradley Beal and in 2008 NDerrick Rose, Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo.

Five alumni have been NBA Rookie of the Year, including Kyrie Irving in 2012, Tyreke Evans in 2010, Rose in 2009, Kevin Durant in 2008 and Elton Brand, who shared the honor in 2000.

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