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April 20, 2013

Back-to-Back Victories for World Team Over USA at Nike Hoop Summit

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Played in front of a nationally televised audience and a crowd of 6,265, the Nike Hoop Summit is the country's premier annual basketball game featuring America's top male high-school-age players vs. a World Select Team comprising outstanding U-19 international players at the Rose Garden, Portland, OR.

Livio Jean-Charles (France) scored 27 points and 13 rebounds for the World Team as they improved their record in the Hoop Summit series to 5-11. After losing to the World Team for the second time in four years in 2012, the U.S. team was keen to return to winning ways but, with Dennis Schröder (Germany) adding 18 points and Andrew Wiggins (Canada) scoring 17, the visitors led for all but the opening minute of the game.

"That was a really good game from the World Team," said winning coach Roy Rana (Canada). "Probably the most impressive thing is the way we have shared the ball from the very first practice. I thought there was great chemistry and they were just phenomenal kids to coach."

The World Team held a narrow 23-21 first quarter lead and built their advantage to as many as 16 points in the second period. Although the USA reduced the deficit to two points late in the third quarter, Jean-Charles scored six points early in the final period to help the World Team to victory. It was the first time in Nike Hoop Summit history that the World Select Team has won consecutive games.

"We played a good game, we shared the ball and played together," said Jean-Charles. "We had a good chemistry on the team and with the coach and that made everything real easy."

Wiggins added: "It was a blessing to be here and it means a lot to be on the World Team that beats the USA two times (consecutively). And it means even more to do it with Coach Rana, who I have been with for four or five years. It's something I can cherish."

Dante Exum (Australia) scored 8 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and believed the experience of the week's preparation for Nike Hoop Summit was one he will long remember. 

"I just wanted to come in here and have as much fun as I could and make friends," said Exum. "Hopefully, I will now follow these guys as they have great careers all over the world.

"After a week of great practices and scrimmages, it was the best feeling to finally be able to play a game with these guys because they are like brothers to me. I learnt so much from the coaches and made friends I will keep for life. It's an experience I will never forget." 

The USA was led by 22 points from Jabari Parker and 19 points each from Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison.

"We want to give the World Team all the credit," said USA coach Mike Jones. "They are one of the most talented, if not the most talented, teams we have had at the Nike Hoop Summit. No matter what the final score says, we're very proud of our team who represented the United States tonight."

The Nike Hoop Summit provides a platform for the stars of tomorrow to shine today and Nike Basketball is committed to growing the game internationally.

For more information on the Nike Hoop Summit click here.