The 12-member World Select Team today was announced for the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit. The premier annual basketball game featuring many of the world’s leading basketball players aged 19 years old or younger, the 19th annual summit will take place at 12 p.m. PDT on Saturday, April 9 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The annual game pits the World Select Team against the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team, which is composed of elite American high school senior boys.
Featuring players from 10 different countries, the 2016 World Select Team includes: Edin Atic (AEK Athens, Greece/Bosnia & Herzegovina), DeAndre Ayton (Hillcrest Academy, Ariz./Bahamas), Isaia Cordinier (Denain ASC Voltaire/France), Andres Feliz (West Oaks Academy, Fla./Dominican Republic), Harry Froling(Australian Institute of Sports/Australia), Justin Jackson (Hill Academy/Canada), Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep, Canada/Australia), Lauri Markkanen (HBA-Marsky Helsinki/Finland), William McDowell-White(Ignatius Park College/Australia), Wesley “Mogi” Silva (Paulistano/Unimed Sao Paolo/Brazil), Martynas Varnas (Zalgiris Kaunas II/Lithuania) and Ziming Fan (Foshan Long Lions/China).
Tickets for the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit are on sale now. Lower bowl seating starts at just $10, and courtside seats are $35 and $50. Service charges apply. Tickets are available at bit.ly/NHXtix the Rose Quarter Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.
The World Team is chasing its fourth victory in the last five games. The World Team 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.
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 of 178 Hoop Summit alumni have been drafted professionally.
Seven-foot forward Maker returns for his second Nike Hoop Summit, having scored two points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 14 minutes in last year’s game.
Maker, an Australian national originally from South Sudan, started in last season’s Nike Hoop Summit. He will attend college in the USA in the 2016-17 season.
Additional forwards include 6-foot-11 Froling and 6-foot-8 Jackson. Froling verbally 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.
Jackson, who signed a National Letter of Intent with UNLV, averaged 14.8 points per game for Canada at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Greece last summer.
The World Team has also named five guards to its 2016 roster: 6-foot-6 Atic, 6-foot-5 Cordinier, 6-foot-1 Feliz, 6-foot-4 McDowell White, 6-foot-6 Silva and 6-foot-5 Varnas.
Atic is on loan with OKK Spars Sarajevo in his homeland from his Greek club AEK Athens. He averaged 16.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 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 FIBA Europe U18 Championship.
French guard Cordinier, who plays for Denain in Pro B, the second tier of professional basketball in France, is averaging 11.4 points in 24.0 minutes per game, as well as establishing himself on the U20 French national team.
Feliz was the leading scorer at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Greece, averaging 18.9 points per game. He has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of South Florida for next season.
McDowell-White is one of three Australians on the team, and he enjoyed an outstanding 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships 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, one of two Lithuanians on the World Team, 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 2015 FIBA Europe U18 Championship.
The global squad is completed by 7-foot forward/center Markkanen and 7-foot centers Ayton and Ziming.
Markkanen is in Finland’s first division, the second level of the pro game in his homeland, where he is averaging an impressive 21.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Arizona. With his national team, he was the tournament’s leading scorer at the 2015 FIBA Europe U18 Championship with 18.2 points per game.
Ayton, a native of the Bahamas who currently is at an Arizona high school, is considered by many as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class.
Finally, 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.
For a sixth straight year, the World Team at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit will be led by 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 Brazil 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.
Rana again will 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.