2009 Nike Hoop Summit: World Team Practice Recap

Mon, 04/13/2009 - 2:53pm

The World Select team was able to upset the USA Team at the Nike Hoop Summit 97-89 for the first time since 1998 behind the effort of a gutsy squad of International players. Here is a look at the victorious World Select team based on their practice performances.

Donatas Motiejunas

About the author: Dustin Hiebert is a 21 year old student at Concordia University in Portland Oregon. He's a Health and Physical Education major, who plans to become a basketball coach. He has been playing basketball at Concordia for three years and will graduate in 2011. The World Select team organizers asked Dustin and his teammate to practice with the World Select team for the week leading up to the Hoop Summit game. A full week of practicing and hanging out with these guys gave him great insight and perspective into the strengths and weaknesses of each player both on and off the court.

PF Donatas Motiejunas 7'0 230 lbs Lithuania

Donatas is tall and very skilled, he has a solid frame, and moves extremely well for a 7 footer. During practice it seemed like he was content to a degree where he is at with his talent. Turning the switch on and off when he wanted to compete, he turned it on later in the week with more scouts in the practices. The lefty has great touch around the basket and a good IQ for the game. He has a smooth and consistent jumpshot. He is really competitive and takes the game of basketball really seriously. He has a fun and energetic personality.

PG Matias Nocedal 6'3 180 lbs Argentina

Matias was undersized but relied on his (limited) quickness and smarts to excel in his international style of play. Throughout the week of practice, he turned the ball over a lot trying too hard to be fancy and stand out. This being said he is very intelligent at the point guard position and ran the offense quite well, and got his players in their correct position. He has a thin build and is not very quick which makes it really hard for him to get into the paint and finish. When he does manage to drive, he is good at finding the open player.

PG/SG Edwin Jackson 6'2 195 lbs France


Edwin Jackson

Edwin is the one player throughout the week who really caught my eye with his athleticism, quickness and on ball defense. He has a strong NBA athletic guard body who can handle the ball well. Although against extreme defensive pressure he tends to struggle. He is a great finisher around the basket and has quick and explosive jumping ability. He can lose his head if he is not playing well, which is typical for a young athlete. He is also extremely streaky with his jumpshot. He can shoot from NBA range and has a great high release mid range jump shot. His quickness is his trademark which he utilizes very well. He has flashes of being cocky but can also be a team leader. He is a fun guy to be around and easy to get along with.

SF Mamadou Samb 6'9 195 lbs Senegal

Mamadou is a tall but very skinny, with a lot of work in the weight room this guy could be a solid basketball player. He has a good mid-range jumpshot along with some efficient post moves. He has a long wing span of 7'02 and crashes the boards really hard. With his thin build it is hard for him to box out bigger players. Mamadou is a bright guy. He is a funny and laid back guy, as I ended up talking with him the most. In the beginning of practice I missed a couple of open shots so he asked me, "Did you not eat your Wheaties?"

PG/SG Nikos Pappas 6'4 210 lbs Greece

First impressions of Nikos makes you think he's not a basketball player, but his game is solid, it just lacks quickness. He has a consistent and solid three point shot. He can handle the basketball very well but is slow for a point guard. Although he's slow, he somehow manages to get where he wants and can finish with both hands. He found himself stranded a lot picking up his dribble, resulting in turning the ball over. His game is very international with his passing style and running floaters.

Tomislav Zubcic

SF Tomislav Zubcic 6'11 218 lbs Croatia

This guy was phenomenal in practice all week, and has a bright future in my eyes. He is tall, athletic small forward. He is thin so with some work in the weight room, he would be an amazing player. His shot is as consistent as I have ever seen with range to three. I could literally count the number of misses he had during the week from outside. And it wasn't many. He also has the ability to get to the basket and finish while taking the foul. For being 6'11, he doesn't have slow feet and moves around with fluidity. NBA comparison to Andrei Kirilenko, but with a better shot.

PF Milan Macvan 6'8 258 lbs Serbia

Milan didn't really stand out much in practice but when it came to game time he was everywhere. Only being 6'8 he has great post moves and a solid outside shot. He is one of the smartest players I have played with, always knowing exactly where to be and when to pass and shoot. He was very energetic throwing up his hands when hitting a three, or bump his chest. A hard worker that gets the job done.

PF Zhang Dayu 7'0 240 lbs China

Zhang has a tall, athletic body type that has some potential. He has a consistent jump shot, and is a competitor and will push back if he is being bullied. He struggles to finish around the basket but never gives up on a play. But he doesn't attack the rim aggressively enough. He's tall enough to rip the rim down but he likes to lay it up, which could be a cultural thing, not sure. If he got a more aggressive mentality he will be solid player. He also has an awesome personality, again with the language barrier we still got along great, very friendly guy.

SG/SF Mateo Gaynor 6'6 180 lbs Argentina

Mateo has a very skinny build and didn't stand out a lot in practice. He has a smooth shot and can get to the basket when necessary, in which he is also very crafty when around the hoop. He is limited because he is so skinny, and not extremely quick. He could have a bright future but needs a lot more work in the weight room. He plays as a role player and will knock down the open shot.

Kevin Seraphin

PF Kevin Seraphin 6'9 258 lbs France

Kevin stands 6'9 but plays like he is much bigger. He has very large hands which allows him to dunk and grab rebounds with ease. He has a 7'3 wing span which he puts to good use. He never takes a play off and will go after every single rebound and then dunk with authority. Kevin is very quick off his feet and very explosive. His jumpshot is a little rough releasing his guide hand a little early. With some help from a shooting coach he should be able to fix it. This being said, he still is a consistent shooter and will knock the down the midrange jumpshot. Not speaking the same language as Kevin, we still got along great, and is a cool guy.


*Check back tomorrow for a full recap of the Hoop Summit game including write ups on every player on both squads.

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