Over the years the Nike Hoop Summit, an annual event that pits the top international players against the top high school players in the United States, has showcased some of the most marquee names in college, NBA and international basketball circles since the inaugration of the program in 1995.
Ten high school players from all across the country are selected for the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team, while ten international prospects, all 19-years-old or under, make up the World Select Team.
The two teams take part in four days of rigorous workouts and practices before the main event, which is a showcase game with four 10-minute quarter pitting the two teams against one another.
As it has in the past, this year’s Nike Hoop Summit, which will begin on April 9 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, features the who’s who of up-and-coming basketball talents.
On Tuesday, the 2011 World Select roster was officially announced and includes top Canadian prospects, forward Kyle Wiltjer and guard Kevin Pangos, Bazilian center Lucas Nogueira and, among others, Croatian forward Dario Saric.
Other players filling out the World Select Team include Davis Bertans of Latvia, Mateusz Ponitka of Poland, France’s Evan Fornier, Polish center Przemyslaw Karnowski and Brazilian guard Raul Togni Neto.
The World Select Team will have its hands full with the USA Basketball roster that includes an array of five-star recruits including incoming Kentucky commits Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, Duke commits Quinn Cook and Austin Rivers, son of Doc Rivers, Florida commit Brad Beal, Syracuse commit Rakeem Christmas, North Carolina commit James McAdoo, Memphis commit Adonis Thomas and incoming Washington guard, Tony Wroten.
Teague, Rivers, Gilchrest, Davis and Christmas are rated the nation’s top-five players in the 2011 recruiting class according to Scout.com.
It will be interesting to see Davis, Gilchrist and Teague go up against a future teammate in the World Select squad’s Wiltjer. The 6-foot-9 forward out of Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, is considered one of the top forward prospects in the nation and signed on to play for head coach John Calipari and the Wildcats back in August of 2010.
Besides Wiltjer, only one other player from the international squad will play NCAA college basketball next season. Pangos, a 6-foot-1 guard from Dr. John M. Denison SS in Newmarket, Ontario, who teamed with Wiltjer to help Canada capture the bronze medal at the 2010 U17 World Championships, is slated to join the Gonzaga Bulldogs in 2011-12.
Take note of these names folks, because it won’t be long until you hear many of them announced by NBA commisioner David Stern on a future draft day and, perhaps, some as early as the 2012 NBA Draft (Note: One even earlier. Nogueira is eligible for the 2011 draft).
© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg — All Rights Reserved