Nike Global Challenge: Top International Prospects
By Dustin Hiebert
Overall the 2009 Nike global challenge had a lot of talent, and although a majority of the top talent came from the USA side, there were a number of intriguing talents from the international side as well. There were a handful of International players that really caught my eye and have a bright future.
A team that was loaded with athletes, who played well together but ran into a tough USA team only losing by one. This squad worked very hard, playing very unselfishly and moved the ball very well.
Tristan Thompson -
Had a solid showing in Portland after a dissapointing summer. He still has a lot of work to do on his post skills and developing range. He has a long body and a lot to work with and should continue to develop his strength during his college career at Texas, after his senior season at Findlay prep. He shows nice potential if he can develop his offensive skills.
This team had a handful of athletes but couldn’t put it together this weekend. Talking to Rob Beveridge the head coach of this team, it was difficult with the language barrier to communicate with his athletes. When all said and done, this team has some impressive talent for the future.
Guo Ailun –
Many in China feel Guo has the most potential of any player (from China) in his generation. I was really impressed with his ball handling skills and how he managed the floor. He always had his head up surveying the court. When he got inside the paint he was really crafty, getting around big men using the floater as his signature shot. He went quiet when he wasn’t feeling it and the USA pressure bothered him at times, but was very good when he was on.
Zhang Zhuojun -
Bigman who is tall and skinny but loves to work around the basket. He has great touch around the rim. His footwork could use some help but that will come with more work in the gym with a coach. With some work in the weight room and some footwork drills this kid could be good.
Jie Zhao -
The Chinese version of Manu Ginobili. He can attack the basket, shoot the three, fun the fast break He was all over the court, getting steals, finishing multiple fast breaks, some with dunks. Would love to have this player on my team. He is wiry and skinny, but gets the job done. Has a good shooting form.
Li Muhao -
I would have to say this is All-Asia team's best player. Very tall and lean and moves extremely well for his height. If he was to workout hard consistently he could be a scary athlete. He has good shooting form, he is very mobile, fluent in his movements, meaning he does not have slow feet for a big guy.
One of the Australian players on this team, played well when he was on. A real hustle guy who was everywhere on the court, but was inconsistent, he went silent when he didn’t get touches.
I was really shocked with this team and how they underperformed. They were a very hard working group but rode the back of their best player Svetozar. The first game of the tournament he played very well but it was a rough game for the whole team. The second game the team played much better but so did Stamenkovic, scoring 19 points in the first half shooting 11-13 from the field and 4-4 from 3 point range. The game was taken over by Harrison Barnes who lit up the FMP Serbia team for 46 points and 14 rebounds.
Svetovar Stamenkovic is a nice athlete, listed at 6'6 he is very versatile, he can take it off the dribble and has great shooting form from distance, including a quick release. As mentioned above he put this team on his back scoring 35 and 38 in successive games
This team was loaded with big athletic bodies that really worked hard. They played together and grinded out a win on the first day by hitting a buzzer beater. Some of their athletes have some great potential, if they apply themselves correctly.
Remy Emmanuel Ndiaye -
Very active player, great rebounder and awesome on ball defender. Another one of those guys you would love to have on your team, great team leader.
Papa Latyr Gning -
Has a strong athletic body, great ball handler and is very long which makes him very productive on the defensive end.
Daniel Gomis -
Quick and versatile, good finisher around the basket and extremely long wing span. Moves great for a big man and has a high release jump shot which easily gets over the defense.
A great squad that showed some real talent this weekend. This team had the best teamwork by far from the international standpoint. Their first game they had five guys in double figures and everyone on the roster scored. The team was lead by Jordan Burger and Raul Togni Neto.
Jordan Burger -
Has a great basketball frame, and like most of the athletes in this tournament, needs some work in the weight room and on his fundamentals. Has good ball handling skills and great leadership.
Good to hear Tristan Thompson had a good showing. Haven't heard many good reports about him this past summer.
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