The adidas Nations event tipped off yesterday at the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, CA. Five international teams and four teams of the top USA players in the 2014 and 2015 classes are participating. In addition there are four teams selected from the 55 college counselors also participating. The college counselors are some of the top returning college players for the 2014 season.
The international teams are from Africa, Australia, Latin America (players from Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico), Asia (the Philippines) and Europe (Russia). The African team pulled off the upset of the day, topping USA 2015 Blue 76-73. The Africa team was athletic and competed evenly with the USA team in all aspects of the game. The three African players most impressive were Papa Sadia Diatte (16 points, seven rebounds) an athletic 6’8 forward, Nehdi Ngouma, their 6’2 point guard (15 points, six rebounds, three steals) and Michael Nzei, a 6’8 power forward who came off the bench to score 13 points and grab 12 rebounds. Josh Jackson impressed for the Americans with 15 points and three clocked shots.
The USA 2014 Red team topped Australia 87-74 as Jalil Okafor showed why he’s the top-ranked recruit in his class. The 6’11 Okafor dominated the game inside scoring 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting in 29 minutes of action. He was helped by the all-around quality play of 6’8 Kevon Looney who contributed 13 points, five rebounds, four blocks and six steals. The Aussies had a few players we’ll continue to look at. 6’5 swing forward Jack McVeigh led them with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Harrison Froling, a 6’7 forward and brother to Alicia and Keely who are featured in our Women’s International Recruiting Service, chipped in with 14 points and 6’11 center Isaac Humphries and 6’8 forward Keanu Pinder added ten points each.
The USA 2015 Red team topped an outmanned Russian squad 83-61. Malik Newman showed why he’s likely the best scorer in the 2015 class. The 6’4 Newman scored 15 points in 17 minutes, shooting 6-of-9 from the field including 3-of-4 on three-pointers. 7’1 Stephen Zimmerman of Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas was impressive and active as always. Zimmerman added 12 points and five rebounds. 6’2 Mikhail Kulagin was easily the most impressive Russian player as he scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, although he was charged with eight turnovers.
Latin America, led by two impressive Brazilians, Braian Alexan Rodas and Lucas Gabrie Vezaro topped a spunky team from the Philippines 89-78. Both the 6’6 Rodas and the 6’1 Vezaro scored 28 points. Rodas scored 20 in the first half, then Vezaro got hot after halftime hitting three big three-pointers and ending the night with 5-of-7 from long distance. 6’5 Arvin Tolentino kept the Asian team in the game as he shot 11-of-13 and grabbing seven rebounds while scoring a game high 29 points.
In the college counselor games Indiana’s Will Sheehy (19 points), Perry Ellis of Kansas (16 points on 5-of-7 shooting), Kansas incoming frosh Wayne Selden (12 points) and Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash (12 points, seven rebounds) all had good games.
Thanks to adidas for most of the photos.