PORTLAND, OR–Led by player of the game, Andrew Wiggins, the World select team picked up its first win at the Nike Hoop Summit (since 2009) over a USA team composed of America’s finest.
The bench was run by fellow Canadian Roy Rana. It was his second time as Head Coach of the World team, and second time coaching Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins since their Bronze medal in 2010 at the FIBA U17 World Championships.
Both Bennett and Wiggins finished on high notes in the win as Bennett hit a crucial three point shot with 15 seconds to play that would extend the World team’s lead to six.
Wiggins was recognized as the best player on the floor regardless of age as he led the World team in scoring with 20 points.
Although Wiggins was no stranger to the basketball scene, the Nike Hoop Summit was his coming out party to the world, and he made the most of every minute!
The first few baskets of the game came from Wiggins and Bennett and were followed by a dunk from the seven footer out of China, Wang Zhelin who contributed with 19 points of his own.
The international roster got off to a hot start and were in sync despite barely knowing one another, leading 10-0 in the opening minutes.
Shabazz Muhammad came back at the World and was relentless on the attack finishing the game with 35 and breaking the Hoop Summit scoring record that was previously set by Enes Kanter with 34 two years ago.
Regardless of how much Muhammad put up, team USA tried many defensive sets to try and slow down the World team’s offense but was unable, due to the ball movement and unselfishness of the international roster.
Coach Rana comments on this after the game, “we had a great week of practice where the team bought into our point of emphasis. Ball movement was an area that we thought would exploit weakness.”
The World select team took team USA out of their comfort zone by taking away the penetration game in the half court and forcing them to be a shooting team.
USA took their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter with 3:15 to play after a bucket in the lane by Kyle Anderson. After exchanging baskets for 2 minutes, Bennett would hit a massive high arcing three that would give the World team a six point lead and force USA to foul for the next possessions hoping for misses at the charity stripe. The World would go on to takes its fourth victory against USA at the Nike Hoop Summit.