Nike Global Challenge: Chris Egi & Montaque Gill-Ceasar Earn MVPs Honours
WASHINGTON,DC–When you walk into a gym and are graced by the presence of future hall of fame coaches such as Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo, and Roy Williams, you know you’re at a high quality event with top notch talent; this is what the Nike Global Challenge was from start to finish.
The championship game featured USA West against USA South, both teams loaded with future NCAA talent that will make a direct impact at the schools they choose to attend. This game went down to the wire with North Carolina Tar Heels commit Joel Berry firing off the last shot that would have been to tie. Closely guarded, he was forced to toss up a tough shot that went far left of the rim. The South team was victorious with a 98-95 win.
Canada finished 2-2 with wins against France and Pan Africa. 2015 studs Chris Egi and Montaque Gill-Ceasar earned MVPs for their solid performances throughout four games. Egi averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Gill-Caesar put in 17 points and five rebounds.
Both are sure to have new offers on the table from programs in the top conferences in America. Egi and “Teki” are thought of by most coaches as high major prospects and there are some who would go as far as saying high-major plus, meaning they will end their college careers early and head to the NBA.
Let’s not get too ahead of the game, after all they have potentially two years left in high school, both with the option to reclassify and play in the NCAA by the 2014-2015 season.
While Montaque Gill-Ceasar will continue at Huntington Prep for the remainder of his high school career, Chris Egi announced earlier today via twitter that he will be leaving St. Andrew’s and heading to Montverde Academy.
“Thanks to St. Andrew’s for everything over the past 5 years. I’ve learned so much and will always be an Andrean at heart.”
No tweet these days is complete without a hashtag. #DileasGubrath is how Chris Egi ended it; Dileas Gubrath, which is Gaelic for Faithful Forever.
Although he will be missed on the Canadian hardwood, this is ultimately the best choice for him as he will play against higher level competition regularly and often matchup against other bigs…or will he?
Higher competition, no doubt, but it won’t be in the low post. Expect to see Egi gradually transition into a stretch forward. He is tenacious, agile, athletic and is starting to show greater range in his jump shot.
We should not be surprised to hear an announcement in the near future of Jamal Murray transferring and heading south for school as well. Similarly to Chris Egi, his game is in need of higher competition throughout the regular high school season.
Every major stage Jamal Murray has stepped on, from Jordan Brand Classic (awarded MVP), to the FIBA Americas and now here at the Nike Global Challege, he has risen to the occasion and been an impact player for his respective team.
At the Nike Global Challenge he was the youngest player on the floor for Canada yet earned a nice chunk of minutes from each game that he used to average 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. In addition, he meshed in seamlessly because he has a high IQ, can score in a variety of ways and defends his position well.
Above all, he has the IT factor. That IT factor is in his high character and personality, the young Waterloo native stays humble regardless of his achievements, he fits in with any team, has a very positive attitude and is open to learning. These are a few reasons as to how his personality makes him such an outstanding prospect. We look forward to the day that he will represent our nation again in International competition.
Although there wasn’t an International presence in the championship game, this event was a testament to the Global growth of basketball. The notion that lingered around International teams outside of North America in the past, was that they lack the athleticism and speed of team USA; at one point this may have been true, however times are changing. Evidence of this was clear from watching both the French and Pan African teams throw down some gruesome dunks and climb the ladder for blocked shots.
Elias Sbiet, signing out from the Nike Global Challenge in Washington, DC.
Follow @Elias_NPH and @NorthPoleHoops for all your Canadian basketball coverage.
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