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2017 Nike Hoop Summit

Additional Quotes: USA 98, World 87

  • Date:
    Apr 8, 2017

On tonight’s game:
First thing, the World Team gave us a heck of a game, and congrats to them. They competed, and they gave us everything that we could handle. That’s a very talented team that they presented against us this year, and we give them a lot of credit for how well they played tonight. And then for our guys, our guys were great. In a short amount of time to bring these 12 players together, 11 of them could play tonight, Quade Green was out with a concussion. I told the guys in the locker room how well they bonded this week. The chemistry was good. They were very unselfish. It was a very focused group, and they came in and played with a lot of intensity and a ton of toughness. Not an easy thing to do, putting together a team and playing as well as they did in such a short amount of time. So, a big credit to our guys and all of our staff.

On if anyone on the World team jumped out:
I think (Nickeil Alexander-Walker) and especially (Kostja Mushidi) with the way they shot the ball in the first half. They did a great job of keeping them in and keeping them close. Even when we made a run, they had an answer on that end. (Isaiah Hartenstein) came in with a lot of accolades. I’d never seen him play before in person, but you can tell his skill level is real high. The step-back jumper that he had, the way he crashes the glass and he can put the ball on the floor with his size. I think those guys stood out in my mind. R.J. Barrett, I’ve seen many times before. I wouldn’t say he had his best game tonight, but I know he’s the youngest guy here, and his future is very, very bright.

MICHAEL PORTER JR. (Nathan Hale H.S./Seattle, WA)
On tonight’s game:
I would just like to thank USA basketball, first off. It was a great experience, and that wasn’t an easy win. We knew from the beginning that it was going to be difficult. Every day in practice we went hard, we were focused and I’m just proud of the team for the way they came out. Shout out to my guy (Jarred Vanderbilt) – MVP. So yeah, it was great experience.

On what it means to play in a game like this:
It’s a great honor just to see your name next to all these great players. All 12 of these players were McDonald’s All-Americans, so you know you’re really playing with the best. It was an honor to be selected, and I had a great time.

JARRED VANDERBILT (Victory Prep Academy/Houston, TX)
On tonight’s game:
I want to thank USA basketball for allowing me to have this opportunity. We played a great team, and I credit my team for not taking them lightly. We took it to them. They have some great guys, great talent, but we stuck together. We played hard, and I’m just proud of my guys.

On not playing on last year’s USA U17 World Championship Team:
It motivated me a lot. I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder, considering that I didn’t get to play last (summer). Just being able to step back on the court with USA Basketball across my chest is a great feeling. It’s a very prestigious game, and I’m just thankful to be here.

World Team Assistant Coach MARIN SEDLACEK
Opening statement:
We lost the game, and when you lose the game, especially after a few minutes or some time, you have more emotions and a different kind of thinking. First, I want to congratulate the US team who played really, really good. We had different kinds of problems during the game, and in the first half we had problems with rebounding, and because of that we had 13 less shots than the US team had. Even our percentage in offense from the two-points, 3-points and free throw line was very good. We tried in the second half to play a bit harder. We made it, but in the last quarter we missed nine free throws. You cannot beat US, you cannot beat any team, if you miss nine free throws, especially in a moment when you’re down by five, when you’re down by four. We didn’t have that juice to turn the game on our side, and normally, as always in my experience of 17 years of sitting on the bench for the World Team, we’ve had problems against the press. The quality and style of play which US players have comparing with international guys, and I think this game is a plus, a big plus for global basketball and a big plus also for the guys who played for our team.

KOSTJA MUSHIDI (BC Mega Leks/Germany)
On his first half:
My teammates passed me the ball in good situations, I was wide open, mostly. After I made my first shot, my teammates kept finding me, and I made some shots today, but some other guys also made shots.

On playing against Team USA’s length:
To be honest, it’s just a basketball game. Of course, the guys are talented, but we’re talented, too. We’re not scared. They have a lot of potential, Michael Porter and the others guys. They have great futures ahead of them, but it was just a basketball game and that’s it.

On teammate Felipe Dos Anjos:
He’s a great person. A lot of fun with him this week, and he’s a great person.

On his season in Serbia:
It was great, it was my first year playing senior ball. I improved a lot. My coach had a lot of confidence in me this year. I played a lot of minutes, and I think I improved. Like I said, I’m very happy with the situation, it’s a great situation.

LINDELL WIGGINTON (Oak Hill Academy, VA/Canada)
On what didn’t allow them to get over the ‘hump’:
I think in the first half we didn’t rebound the ball well. We had a lot of turnovers, a lot of unforced turnovers and forced turnovers, and like coach said, we’ve got to make free throws. You can’t beat any team or the US without making free throws.

On the camaraderie of the team:
It’s a great experience just coming together with the best players in the world, even some of my fellow Canadians, it’s just a great experience playing with them again. I played with them last summer. So, it’s just good coming together as elite players.

On if anyone surprised/impressed him on the World Team:
I like playing with everybody. Everybody brought it each and every day. Everybody competed. The big guys, they were great, our guards were great, so just playing with everybody.

On teammate Felipe Dos Anjos:
Being that big, most people would be scared, but he’s really friendly. He gets to know everybody. He just doesn’t sit in his own little world,  he gets to know everybody. He’s a really friendly guy, goofy.

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