PORTLAND, OREGON–Two more games to go in the high school career of one of the best high school basketball players EVER. RJ Barrett is again the headliner, for the World Team and for the Nike Hoop Summit event as a whole. Barrett and the Canadian company of Andrew Nembhard and Ignas Brazdeikis have been impressing in front of gym full of NBA personnel.
10 days from now Barrett will cap his high school career on Canadian soil on April 23 in the Signature All-Canadian game.
Barrett has always lived up to the moment, has always put on a show and has been winning for the longest time. Being as talented as he is; the measure of winning and accolades, while being so talented, is what sets him apart from the other stars in this event.
Even with Americas top guys and names like; Cameron Reddish, Tre Jones, Zion Williamson, Keldon Johnson and others out here, Barrett still has a different aura surrounding him.
What Barrett has done this year is nothing short of remarkable.
RJ Barrett 2017-2018 Senior Year
- #1 Ranked Senior ESPN/Rivals
- #1 Ranked Team in the Nation Montverde Academy – USA Today/Max Preps/Ballislife
- #1 Ranked North Pole Hoops for 4 years (longest held position at #1)
- Statistics – 28pts/8rbds/5assists per game
- IYBS Invitational, Beijing China – Champions and MVP
- Iolani Classic, Honolulu Hawaii – Champions and MVP
- Cancer Research Classic – Champions and MVP
- Beach Ball Classic – Champions and MVP
- Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament – Champions and All Star
- Metro Classic – Champions and MVP
- Hoop Hall – Champions and MVP
- Geico National Championships – Champions and MVP.
- All time leading scorer in National Championships history.
- Montverde Academy – Undefeated season 35-0
- Morgan Wooten POY
- Naismith POY
- Gatorade POY
- All-USA Today POY
- Max Preps POY
- McDonald’s All-America
- Jordan Brand
- Nike Hoop Summit
- BioSteel POY
- 2017 EYBL – Scoring leader 28 pts/10 reb/4 ast
- Canada Basketball U19 Team •Voted 2017 Canadian Press Team of the Year (first such award for a basketball team in the award’s 51 year history).
- Rj Barrett named 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Year by Canada’s Sporting News.
After the final practice at Hoop Summit, I caught up with Barrett to dig into his mindset for this game today.
In comparison to other All-Star events that Barrett has been involved in, he stated this stage at Hoop Summit was far more significant.
“This is a more serious event. We’re really to trying to beat the U. S and get the win. Winning is everything.”
“I’m representing my country and every time I get a chance to do that its an honour.”
He mentioned in a media scrum that although he loves his guys, (fellow Duke Commits, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson) this game is all about getting the win. At this point, those guys are opponents.
Andrew Nembhard World Class PG
After 5 years of evaluating Andrew Nembhard, one thing that he has proven to be is consistent, consistently good.
National team, Montverde, Team Ontario, Vaughan Secondary and UPlay Canada. Every team he has played on, he’s proven to be the best point guard on the floor.
At Hoop Summit the reviews among NBA personnel and other scouts is that Nembhard is the best point guard in attendance.
There are two clear things that have improved in Nembhard’s game, one is a skill and the other is an intangible.
For the longest time, he’s been known to be an extraordinary passer and ball handler with a low turn over rate. His play making and set up for teammates is artful. Yet his offensive pursuit for getting himself buckets has sometimes been questioned…Not anymore.
At Montverde this year, there was mental transformation and a level of tenacity that has been added to his being. He plays with more of that “dog” in him. Nembhard is defending better and letting opponents known about it. Up until a few months ago, this was not a side of Nembhard that most had seen.
Moreover, there has been improvement in his three point shooting. While that is still an area that needs work, there has been progress and percentages to show for the work he’s put in.
Hoop Summit will be his final game with his childhood teammate RJ Barrett before he becomes an opponent on April 23 at the Signature All-Canadian game.
Andrew Nembhard will be headed to Florida next season to start a new chapter and continue building his brand as one of the best, if not the best incoming PG to the NCAA.
Ignas Brazdeikis On an Incline
Ignas Brazdeikis has college coaches buzzing about how their teams are going to defend him.
He’s got a strong base to bully down low against undersized wings, he can shoot the three ball with consistency and create as he tip toes in the paint.
As someone that has had close eyes on Brazdeikis throughout his high school career, he is in the best shape he’s ever been in right now and as a result is looking much lighter on his feet.
With a trimmed, leaner body he is getting up and down the floor with higher speed and getting back on defense with a sense of urgency.
Brazdeikis had a tremendous high school and EYBL career and is on route to provide high level scoring at Michigan under Coach John Beilein who is just coming off a Championship game appearance against Villanova.