TORONTO, ON–Abu Kigab is boosting his player stock at Basketball Without Borders. On day one, the St. Catharines, Ontario native made his presence felt.
In the midst of the very first NBA All-Star weekend outside of the U. S. A, it hasn’t been entirely entertainment. There is some serious work being done at the amateur level as the NBA and FIBA, with a Global partner in Nike as an official partner, put on Basketball without Borders in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
This event serves as an opportunity for a collection of the world’s top 53 boys and girls from 27 countries to absorb developmental information from NBA and FIBA players and coaches over three days.
The Canadians on hand on day one were Shai Alexander (Florida commit), Abu Kigab, and Lindell Wigginton; all of which are members of the Canadian 2017 class.
Of the three Canadians, Kigab has been getting heavy praise from NBA pundits, as the 6’7 forward has made sure that everyone knows his name from day one.
It is natural for high school aged players to walk into this environment and be struck by the amount of NBA execs in attendance. It can be shell shocking and might take a game or two to take it in, and get in rhythm before getting over the fact that their NBA and FIBA stock is being evaluated–for Kigab this adjustment period did not exist.
He was his usual loud self, an excellent teammate that keeps the morale of his guys up and communicates on every switch, yells out “board” or “rebound” on either side of the floor, and plays with a very high motor on every possession. While his intangibles have brought him a long way, they have been instrumental in the incline of his development.
His intangibles display a level of maturity and understanding for the game that can be appreciated by coaches and basketball execs at any level. Kigab stuck out like a sore thumb among other future pros.
This young prospect has the “IT” factor–a rare characteristic to comes across when evaluating talent. In this sense, he is comparable to Dillon Brooks of the Oregon Ducks, who has made considerable improvements over time and is now considered one of the NCAA’s top players.
Abu Kigab is turning the corner so to speak. The St.Catharine’s, Ontario product continues to evolve when he is plugged into highly competitive situations and skilled environments. His experience with Canada’s Junior National Team has done wonders.
On day 1, he showed a new angle to what he does, which is make plays for teammates when his shot isn’t available. Abu is getting better at seeing the whole floor at the start of his penetration. He recognizes the best available option and puts teammates in situations to score.
Kigab’s mechanics as a shooter and ball handler have improved as well. Shots are coming up more fluid and his breakdown game has made strides.
Defensively, he has proven to be able to defend practically every position on the floor and is showing confidence on the offensive side–and its only day one of camp.
Stock is rising.