2007 World Select Team Finalized For Nike Hoop Summit
Selecting 11 players from 10 different countries, the 2007 World Select Team that will compete against the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team in the 10th annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 7 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., was announced today.
The 2007 Nike Hoop Summit will be played on Saturday, April 7, 3 p.m. (CT), and for the third straight year will be contested at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. Again in 2007, the Hoop Summit will be preceded by the Memphis All-Star Classic, a game that will showcase the top prep senior players from the Memphis area. The Memphis All-Star Classic game will tip off at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The 2007 Nike Hoop Summit game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Network.
Tickets are on sale now, with reserved lower bowl seats priced at $10, courtside seats are available at $20, and floor seats (first and second rows) are $40 and $75. Tickets can be purchased at the FedExForum box office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 901-525-1515.
The Nike Hoop Summit, the premier annual basketball game featuring many of the world's leading basketball players aged 19 years or younger, sees top senior high school players from the USA taking on a World Select Team comprising the world's top players.
The Nike Hoop Summit has been staged on nine previous occasions and has given an extraordinary number of talented young players the chance to showcase their abilities.
This year's version promises to be no different, with
the World Select Team featuring a roster full of players with a great
deal of experience in international basketball and featuring 11 players
from 10 countries across four continents.
The World roster features four guards Nihad Djedovic (6'6", FC Barcelona and Bosnia), Chen Jianghua (6'2", Guangdong Tigers and China), Aleksandar Ugrinoski (6'2", Arkadia Traiskirchen, Austria, and Croatia) and Petteri Koponen (6'3", Honka Espoo and Finland).
The World Team has forwards Omri Casspi (6'8", Hapoel Galil Elyon and Israel), Alexis Wangmene Mang-Ikri (6'9", Blair Academy, New Jersey and Cameroon), Nicholas Batum (6'8", Le Mans and France), Emir Preldzic (6'9", Ljublijana and Slovenia) and Nemanja Aleksandrov (6'10", Crvena Zvedna and Serbia).
The roster is rounded off with center Giorgi Shermadini (7'1", Maccabi Tbilisi and Georgia) and forward/center Alexis Ajinca (7'1", Pau-Orthez and France).
Djedovic was the leading scorer at the European Championships for Cadets
B Division in both 2005 and 2006. Ugrinoski, a Croatian, plays for Arkadia
Traiskirchen Lions in the Austrian Bundesliga, the highest level of professional
basketball in that country.
Koponen was named to the All-Star team after starring for Finland in the 2006 under-20s European Championships B Division. Jianghua played for the Chinese national team at last summer's World Championship in Japan and played in four games, averaging 3.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.
Casspi was selected as one of the best five players at the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Tournament in 2006 and was voted as the Israeli professional Premier League's newcomer of the year in 2005-06.
Mang-Ikri, a Cameroon junior international, has committed to play college ball at the University of Texas. Batum, one of two French players on the squad, was MVP of the under-18 European Championships in Greece last year and is with leading pro team Le Mans.
Preldzic was part of the bronze medal winning Slovenian team at the under-20 European Championships last year and was named one of the tournament's leading five players. Aleksandrov has won European Championships with Serbia at his age group levels in 2001 and 2003 and plays for historic Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvedna).
Shermadini plays for Maccabi Tbilisi in the top professional league in Georgia and this month set a league record by scoring 52 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in his team's 111-97 defeat to TSU Tbilisi.
Ajinca, the second Frenchman on the team, plays for Euroleague team Pau-Orthez and has a host of international honors to his name with France. He was a member of the team that won gold at the 2004 European Cadets Championship and gold at the 2006 European Junior Championships.
The World Team at Nike Hoop Summit 2007 will be coached, for the third time, by respected Australian national teams coach Rob Beveridge.
The USA claimed a109-91 victory at last years Nike Hoop Summit, giving the USA a 7-2 lead in the series.
The two World Team victories came in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a 104-96 margin, and in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas, when now NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki compiled a Nike Hoop Summit record 33 points and added 14 rebounds in a 104-99 victory.
The World Select Team has been assembled by Nike's Consultant of Global Basketball Rich Sheubrooks after consulting with general managers, clubs, federations, scouts and coaches from around the world.
"I think the team we have this year is very athletic, from one to eleven, all the players are extremely athletic. That has a lot to do with the fact that basketball, globally, has continued to grow and, with that, we see that growth in the quality of young players from around the world," said Sheubrooks.
"We believe this team compares vary favorably with our teams from
previous years and we are very excited about seeing them come together
To date, 66 former USA and World Select players have been drafted by NBA teams and, currently, 33 former USA and nine former World Team members play in the NBA.
The list of World alumni currently in the NBA comprises All Stars Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), plus Vladimir Radmanovic (Los Angeles Lakers), Dan Gadzuric (Milwaukee Bucks), Darius Songaila (Chicago Bulls), Bostjan Nachbar (New Jersey Nets), Sergio Rodriguez (Portland Trail Blazers), Mouhamed Saer Sene (Seattle SuperSonics) and Marcus Vinicius Viera (New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets).
USA Basketball on Jan. 15 announced the 10 players and two coaches who had been selected to represent the United States in the Nike Hoop Summit.
Named to the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select Team were high school standouts: Jerryd Bayless (St. Mary's H.S./Phoenix, Az.); Michael Beasley (Notre Dame Prep/Frederick, Md.); Jonny Flynn (Niagara Falls H.S./Niagara Falls, N.Y.); Donte' Greene (Towson Catholic H.S./Baltimore, Md.); Kevin Love (Lake Oswego H.S./Lake Oswego, Ore.); O.J. Mayo (Huntington H.S./ Huntington, W.Va.); Patrick Patterson (Huntington H.S./ Huntington, W.Va.); Derrick Rose (Simeon Vocational/ Chicago, Ill.); Kyle Singler (South Medford H.S./Medford, Ore.); and Nolan Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Va./Upper Marlboro, Md.).
Selected head coach of the 2007 USA Team was state of Washington's renowned prep mentor and Eisenhower High School's (Yakima, Wash.) successful head coach Pat Fitterer. Fitterer served as the assistant coach for last year's victorious USA Hoop Summit Team and was head coach of the USA White Team that captured gold at the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival. Douglas Mitchell (North Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.), who served as Fitterer's assistant coach on the 05 USA White Team, and as an assistant for the USA North Team at the 2003 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, has been tagged Fitterer's assistant coach.
The USA coach and player selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Junior Development Committee.
Nike Hoop Summit History
USA teams have won seven of the previous nine Nike Hoop Summit match-ups, including five consecutive, and the Americans have done so on the shoulders of some outstanding showings by an impressive list of alumni.
The premiere event for high school seniors, 66 former USA and World Select Hoop Summit team members have been drafted by NBA teams, including three members of the 2005 USA team Martell Webster (6th pick by Portland in the 2005 NBA Draft), Monta Ellis (40th pick by Golden State in the 2005 NBA Draft), and Louis Williams (45th pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft), and seven members of the 2004 USA Team Rudy Gay (8th pick by Houston in the 2006 NBA Draft); Sebastian Telfair (13th pick by Portland in the 2005 NBA Draft); Al Jefferson (15th pick by Boston in the 2005 NBA Draft); Josh Smith (17th pick by Atlanta in the 2005 NBA Draft); J.R. Smith (18th pick by New Orleans in the 2005 NBA Draft); Jordan Farmer (26th pick by Los Angeles Lakers in the 2006 NBA Draft); and Daniel Gibson (42nd pick by Cleveland in the 2006 NBA Draft).
As of Jan. 12, 2007, 33 former USA players and nine former World team members play in the NBA.
Some of the American NBA standouts boasting of Hoop Summit experience include Shareef Abdur-Rahim (Sacramento Kings); Ron Artest (Sacramento Kings); Shane Battier (Houston Rockets); Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings); Elton Brand (Los Angeles Clippers); Nick Collison (Seattle SuperSonics); Baron Davis (Golden State Warriors); Chris Duhon (Chicago Bulls); Mike Dunleavy (Golden State Warriors); Ellis (Golden State Warriors); Farmer (Los Angeles Lakers); Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves); Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Gibson (Cleveland Cavaliers); Al Harrington (Indiana Pacers); Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls); Larry Hughes (Cleveland Cavaliers); Jefferson (Boston Celtics); Jared Jeffries (New York Knicks); Joe Johnson (Atlanta Hawks); Rashard Lewis (Seattle SuperSonics); Stephon Marbury (New York Knicks); Darius Miles (Portland Trail Blazers); Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers), Zach Randolph (Portland Trail Blazers); Quentin Richardson (New York Knicks); J.R. Smith (Denver Nuggets); Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks); Stromile Swift (Memphis Grizzlies); Telfair (Portland Trail Blazers); Webster (Portland Trail Blazers); Williams (Philadelphia 76ers).
World Hoop Summit alums now playing for NBA teams include Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks); Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs); Vladimir Radmanovic (Los Angeles Lakers); Dan Gadzuric (Milwaukee Bucks); Darius Songaila (Chicago Bulls); Bostjan Nachbar (New Jersey Nets); Sergio Rodriguez (Portland Trail Blazers); Mouhamed Saer Sene (Seattle SuperSonics); and Marcus Vinicius Viera (New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets).
Other former Hoop Summit players currently competing on the collegiate level include four members of No. 1 ranked North Carolina - Wayne Ellington, Tyler Hansbrough, Tywon Lawson and Brandan Wright; Duke's Gerald Henderson, Greg Paulus and Jon Scheyer; Kansas' sophomore star tandem Brandon Rush and Julian Wright; Washington teammates Spencer Hawes and Jon Brockman; Texas' star frosh Kevin Durant; freshmen Paul Harris at Syracuse, Thaddeus Young at Georgia Tech, Vernon Macklin at Georgetown; Alabama sophomore forward Richard Hendrix; Arizona guard J.P. Prince; Oregon's Malik Hairston, Texas A&M's Joseph Jones, and Indiana's D.J. White.
The USA owns a 7-2 series lead in the Nike Hoop Summit after handing the World squad a 109-91 setback in Memphis last April 8 as Ellington put on a show in the first half and scored 21 of his game high and USA record-tying 31 points in the USA's 109-91 victory. In 2005, the USA rolled to a 106-98 win as Hansbrough scored a record-tying 31 points and added 10 rebounds, while Paulus led the American offense with a USA Hoop Summit record 10 assists. In 2004, the USA upended the World Select Team 99-79 in a game played in San Antonio, Texas. In that contest, Josh Smith led the U.S. offense with 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting, and his 12 made field goals set a new single game USA Hoop Summit record. Telfair recorded a game high seven assists, tying what was at the time the USA Hoop Summit record.
In the 2000 Hoop Summit the USA edged the World Select Team 98-97 in Indianapolis, Ind. In that contest, Randolph accounted for 24 points and eight rebounds, Miles contributed 15 points and eight boards, and it was France's Parker pacing the World squad with 20 points and seven assists. In 1999 in Tampa, Fla., USA guard Casey Jacobsen set a then U.S. team record with 31 points on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point as the Americans rolled to a 107-95 victory. In 1998, the World Select Team earned a hard-fought 104-99 victory thanks to a Hoop Summit record 33 points and 14 rebounds from future NBA All-Star Nowitzki. Current Indiana Pacers forward Harrington posted 26 points and nine rebounds for the U.S. in the loss.
In the 1997 Hoop Summit, contested in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., future NBA standouts Hughes and Artest posted 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the USA squad battled to a 97-90 triumph. Despite O'Neal finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocked shots, the World Team claimed a 104-96 win in the 1996 Hoop Summit in Charlotte, N.C. In the inaugural Hoop Summit contest held in Springfield, Mass., the USA won 86-77 as Garnett accumulated 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocked shots, and Marbury added 10 points and five assists.