PORTLAND,OREGON–The World Team came out victorious again at the Nike Hoop Summit, beating Team USA 89-76 after trading baskets for a majority of the contest. Yet again, to no surprise Rowan Barrett Jr. solidifies his position, as the top draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft following his upcoming year at Duke. Over 100 NBA scouts took in this noteworthy performance; an MVP like performance.
Barrett’s list of accolades continues to grow and are unmatched.
He showed again that he is a willing passer and able to play some minutes at the point guard position when needed. Barrett went into halftime with 15 points and 1 assist and finished the game with 20 points and 6 assists. He didn’t care how it got done as long as they got the win.
In conversation with Barrett the night before he emphasized, “Winning is everything, if we’re not playing to win then what are we playing for. This isn’t about one guy, it’s about representing our countries and winning.”
Canada had it’s prints all over this win, with Head Coach Roy Rana at the helm, in his eighth outing as Hoop Summit head coach he has collected four wins over Team USA. Most recently in the U19 World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, Rana and the Canadian crew collected Gold medals after beating Team USA and Italy in the Championship game.
Rana has elevated himself year after year at various levels. His Ryerson Rams have recently come off of a USports Championship game appearance after eliminating the Carleton Ravens.
Winning is in the D. N. A of the Canadian guys on this Nike Hoop Summit roster. They have infused a new standard in Canadian basketball.
While watching Andrew Nembhard from a birds eyed view, he continued to show at this event his elite qualities as a point guard with his vision and superb passing touch.
One of his passes at Hoop Summit made it on to ESPN Sport Center’s Top 10 that same night.
— Eric Fawcett (@Efawcett7) April 14, 2018
Some may look at this pass and say it was lucky to get into Jaylen Hoard’s hands, and others that have watched Nembhard for years will tell you that it was calculated and he knew exactly where he was putting it as he saved it from going out of bounds.
The Florida commit has high level court sense and spatial awareness. He’s got eyes everywhere, a rare form of vision and play making to say the least.
Nembhard’s efficiency rating in this game was the highest at 18 in the +/- category. That’s good for a team high and game high.
Barrett followed with a +12 and Jaylen Hoard at +10.
Canadian Stat Lines
RJ Barrett 20 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast, 5 stl
Andrew Nembhard 5 pts, 4 ast
Ignas Brazdeikis 9 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
Coach Roy Rana 4 of 8 against Team USA
Charles Bassey of Nigeria had a special second half turning up the aggression and asserting himself on the defensive glass with 11 boards and a total of 16 rebounds in the game to go with his 13 points.
Bassey utilized his 7’3 wingspan to also alter a bunch of Team USA shots. He’s got tremendous upside considering he is of the 2019 class and likely to return to Nike Hoop Summit as an 18 year old.
Wake Forest commit Jaylen Hoard contributed in a major way to get the win. He had 11 points and 15 rebounds. In the second half he and Barrett were clicking and picking their spots.
Argentinian shooting guard Leandro Balmaro showed in practice all week long that he was going to be the World Team’s sniper when they need him. Balmaro knocked two very important triples from the corner to help build the World Team create separation.
Maple Leaf Production
There are levels to this thing, levels to a prestigious and well organized event such as Nike Hoop Summit and at almost every level there was a Canadian involved.
The aforementioned players is one side, the Head Coach is another, yet the support staff of Borko Popic, Rana’s lead assistant with the Ryerson, had a huge part in preparing the players at practice and shoot around. Popic was an instrumental part of the World Team’s success.
Moreover, Nike Sports Marketer, Mark Bayne played a part in getting together the team and keeping tabs on the top Canadian talent for Nike throughout the years.
No matter which way you slice it, Canada played an enormous role this year and in previous years with the World Team wins at Nike Hoop Summit.
Canadians to Expect at Hoop Summit in 2019
AJ Lawson is set to lead the U18 National team this summer under Coach Dave Smart.
It can be said confidently that this will be his largest period of improvement for Lawson. There will be a higher degree of self-accountability than he’s ever been used to before.
Expect to see AJ Lawson, the number one prospect in North Pole Hoops 2019 Canadian class, out and about next year at this time in Portland, Oregon.
NBA scouts have already begun to learn about him and will have ample opportunity before the month is over as they attend practice and game for the Signature All- Canadian game taking place April 23, 2018 at Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.