The 12-member World Select Team for the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit features many of the world’s leading basketball players aged 19 years old or younger. The 19th annual summit will take place at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, April 9.
The annual game pits the World Select Team against the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team, which is composed of elite American high school seniors. The World Team is chasing its fourth victory in the last five games. They beat the USA 84-75 in 2012 and 112-98 in 2013. In 2014, the hosts tallied an 84-73 victory, but the World Team responded with a thrilling 103-101 win last year.
Beyond the summit’s innate prestige, participation in the game is seen as a step towards professional play. As of October 2015, 111 Hoop Summit alumni were active in the NBA, nearly one-quarter of the entire league, and a total 178 Hoop Summit alumni have been drafted professionally.
THE ATHLETES: 2016 Nike Hoop Summit World Select Team
Kostas Antetokounmpo (6’10”, Dominican HS, Wisconsin and Greece)
Edin Atic (6’6”, AEK Athens, Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Udoka Azubuike (6’11”, Potter’s House Christian Academy, Florida and Nigeria)
DeAndre Ayton (7’0”, Hillcrest Academy, Phoenix and The Bahamas)
Isaïa Cordinier (6’5”, Denain ASC Voltaire and France)
Andres Feliz (6’1”, West Oaks Academy, Orlando and the Dominican Republic)
Harry Froling (6’11”, Australian Institute of Sports and Australia)
Justin Jackson (6’8”, Hill Academy, Brantford, Ontario and Canada)
William McDowell-White (6’4”, Ignatius Park College, Queensland and Australia)
Wesley “Mogi” Silva (6’6” Paulistano/Unimed Sao Paolo and Brazil)
Martynas Varnas (6’5”, Zalgiris Kaunas II and Lithuania)
Ziming Fan (7’0”, Foshan Long Lions and China)
The World Team forwards include Justin Jackson (6’8”, Hill Academy, Brantford, Ontario and Canada), Harry Froling (6’11”, Australian Institute of Sports and Australia) and Kostas Antetokounmpo (6’10”, Dominican HS, Wisconsin and Greece).
Canadian forward Jackson averaged 14.8 points per game at the U19 World Championships in Greece last summer and has committed to play at UNLV in 2016-17. Froling, an Australian forward, has committed to play college basketball at Southern Methodist University for the 2016-17 season. He was named MVP of the Basketball Without Borders tournament in Toronto in February 2016. Antetokounmpo is a player at Whitefish Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and is the younger brother of current Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The World Team has also named six guards to its 2016 roster: Edin Atic (6’6”, AEK Athens, Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina), Isaïa Cordinier (6’5”, Denain ASC Voltaire and France), Andres Feliz (6’1”, West Oaks Academy, Orlando and the Dominican Republic), William McDowell-White (6’4”, Ignatius Park College, Queensland and Australia), Wesley “Mogi” Silva (6’6” Paulistano/Unimed Sao Paolo and Brazil) and Martynas Varnas (6’5”, Zalgiris Kaunas II and Lithuania).
Atic is on loan with OKK Spars Sarajevo in his homeland from his Greek club AEK Athens. He averaged 16 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists per game for his national team, being named to the All-Tournament first team as they reached the semi-finals of the 2015 U18 European Championships. French guard Cordinier, who plays for Denain in Pro B, the second tier of professional basketball in France, is averaging 11.4 points in 24 minutes per game, as well as establishing himself on the young French national teams. Feliz, was the leading scorer at the U19 World Championships in Greece last summer, averaging 18.9 points per game. He has committed to the University of South Florida next season. McDowell-White is one of three Australians on the team and enjoyed an outstanding 2015 U19 World Championships in Greece with his national team, averaging 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Brazil’s Mogi is a guard-forward with Sao Paolo club Paulistano, where he has established himself on the senior team this season. Varnas plays for Zalgiris Kaunas II, the farm team for the country’s powerhouse club. Playing in the second-tier NKL, he is averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He was a key member of the Lithuania team that won bronze at the U18 European Championships in 2015.
The global squad is completed by centers DeAndre Ayton (7’0”, Hillcrest Academy, Phoenix and The Bahamas), Ziming Fan (7’0”, Foshan Long Lions and China) and Udoka Azubuike (6’11”, Potter’s House Christian Academy, Florida and Nigeria).
Ayton, a native of The Bahamas currently at high school in Arizona, is considered by many as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class. Chinese center Ziming is in the junior program of professional club the Foshan Long Lions and has played for the China national team at U17 and U18 levels.
Finally, on the 2016 Hoop Summit roster, Azubuike, a high school senior at Potter’s House Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, has verbally committed to the University of Kansas for the 2016-17 season.
The World Team at Nike Hoop Summit 2016 will be led by six-year coach Roy Rana, who currently has a 3-2 record in the series and, in 2013, became the first coach in Hoop Summit history to lead his team to back-to-back victories. Rana, a 10-year veteran of the Canada Men’s National Basketball Team, was appointed head coach of Canada’s Junior Men’s National Team in 2012, leading them it to a bronze medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Brasil and a bronze at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany in 2010, the latest in a long list of international honors, which also include two bronze medals and three silvers with Canada at the Nike Global Challenge from 2006-12. Last summer, Coach Rana led Canada to a best-ever fifth place finish at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Crete, Greece. Rana has coached the last three number-one draft picks in the NBA draft and has over 25 alumni from the Hoop Summit and Canadian National Team program now playing in the NBA. He will again be assisted by Serbia's Marin Sedlacek, who is making his 16th Hoop Summit appearance.
The United States holds a 12-6 advantage in the Nike Hoop Summit. In addition to victories in 2012, 2013 and 2015, the World Team triumphed in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a 104-96 margin; in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas, when Dirk Nowitzki famously recorded 33 points and 14 rebounds in a 104-99 victory; and in 2009 by a 97-89 margin at the Rose Garden.
World Hoop Summit Alumni
Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans); Andrea Bargnani (Brooklyn Nets); Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets); Anthony Bennett (Toronto Raptors); Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors); Clint Capela (Houston Rockets); Omri Casspi (Sacramento Kings); Duje Dukan (Sacramento Kings); Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers); Dante Exum (Utah Jazz); Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic); Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma Thunder); Damien Inglis (Milwaukee Bucks); Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets); Cory Joseph (Toronto Raptors); Enes Kanter (Oklahoma City Thunder); Sergey Karasev (Brooklyn Nets); Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz); Boban Marjanovic (San Antonio Spurs); Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs); Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls); Donatas Motiejunas (Houston Rockets); Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets); Raul Neto (Utah Jazz); Lucas Riva Nogueira (Toronto Raptors); Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks); Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs); Dennis Schröder (Atlanta Hawks); Luis Scola (Toronto Raptors); Kevin Seraphin (New York Knicks); Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers); Karl Towns Jr. (Minnesota Timberwolves); and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves).
Tickets for the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit are on sale now. Lower bowl seating starts at $10 while courtside seats are $35 and $50. Tickets are available online, at the Rose Quarter Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.