The final day of Basketball Without Borders Moscow brought us the much anticipated All-Star game. The rosters were kept secret until the last moment, but the campers weren’t nervous. As the gym was vacant, I used the time to shoot around and work on my dribbling for 2 hours nonstop. I wish I had that kind of gym when I studied at school (Soviet Union times). Close to dinner, Slava Fedorchenko and Rostislav Tcherkashin joined me, they were back from the souvenir trip and still were unaware if they got into the All-Star game or not. They turned to be the only ones to train before the dinner as the All-Star game was scheduled for 2:30 PM.
20 lucky players were then announced to participate in the All-Star Game. Some who made the cut were Luke Nelson (England) with good court vision, drive and other PG skills, Dusan Ristic, the well known prospect from Serbia and Buza Nedim (Bosnia, later announced the MVP of the camp). Among the Russian players there were Viacheslav Fedorchenko (Triumph Junior Team, Russia) and Konstantin Kulikov (currently playing at Girona, Spain).
The Russian coach camp trainers then conducted a small master class for young girls. Dmitry Domani assisted as the translator and supervisor. After his loud commands all the girls started doing exercises correctly. Kirilenko, Mozgov and Shved were interviewed throughout evening and gave as many chances to be photographed as needed.
I discussed some players with Rich Sheubrooks (Utah Jazz executive director of global and pro scouting) and we speculated about the defensive abilities of 17-year old players (born 1995). Not for the first time that I heard the opinion that at the age of 17 it is still early to speak seriously about defensive skills. More attention should be paid to their agility, shot technique, spacing, dribbling and ball skills. Still some of the campers showed really mature basketball education and tactical knowledge.
The All-Star game then started with a Red team facing the White. Viacheslav Fedorchenko (#8) nailed 4-of-5 three-point shots, and an additional mid-range shot as he scored a game-high 15 points.
The well known prospect Dusan Rustic (Serbia, #65) did his job well, controlling both boards, collecting rebounds and scoring inside. He was named the MVP of the game. He has a professional contract already, but in the future he can become a top Euroleague level player with NBA potential.
In the 3-point competition there were two finals, the first between the campers and the second with the winner against Danny Green. Jeszke Damian (Poland, #47) showed consistency making 5-of-15 getting to the finals where he beat Anzejs Pasecniks (Latvia). Danny Green then edged the Poland sniper by a 6 to 5 margin.
Radovan Kouril (Czech Republic, PG, 6’2”) made the audience applaud after his each pass, as he created opportunities either in the post offense or in transition. Many of them turned out to be assists. He is really a excellent point guard with tremendous passing ability. He’s not afraid to make mistakes while creating some cunning non-standard solutions to get the ball to his PF, F and C.
Buza Nedim (Bosnia, #39) was honored as the MVP of the Camp. He didn’t shine out loud in the All-Star game, though his 10 points helped the White to get closer to the Red in the second half. He turned out to be very teachable, agile and quick minded, flying high and shooting with a solid percentage. Many doubted during the camp if he is a pro already and everyone double-checked and he is not. No wonder that there are talents in Bosnia as the coaches from the ex-Yugoslavia’s work is still valued throughout the world.
All the participants of the camp and the FIBA and NBA coaches liked the organization and campers spirit. Many thought it was the best “Basketball Without Borders” event of all. NetScouts Basketball thanks the NBA, FIBA and Nike for their hospitality.
Next July, NetScoutsBasketball in collaboration with KES Basket, CSKA and other partners will hold a larger camp in the Trinta sport facility. There was talk about gathering boys and girls prospects as there are many in Russia still not visible for the basketball world. As always, NetScouts Basketball will evaluate all attendees in their ability to play at USA colleges, prep schools or as a professional. Watch for the camp announcement after our preparations are finalized.
We’ll be posting some videos from the event shortly.
Alex Spirin is a Correspondent, Scout and NetScouts Basketball’s representative in Russia.