- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Basketball is a global game, and that was apparent at this past weekend’s Nike Global Challenge. After a spring and summer full of competition with the Nike EYBL circuit, the Nike Skills Academies and the Peach Jam, 40 of the top U.S. high school basketball players were brought together on four regional teams to compete in the invite-only Global Challenge against teams from Canada, Pan-Africa, Brazil and France.
At the conclusion of the eight-team, three-day tournament featuring some of the world’s top young hoops prospects, the USA West team emerged with the championship following a 98-95 victory over USA South. Uncommitted ESPN 100 small forward Stanley Johnson (Fullerton, Calif./Mater Dei) for the West and Ohio State-bound shooting guard D'Angelo Russell (Louisville, Ky./Montverde Academy) for the South were named co-MVPs of the event for the U.S. contingent. Johnson led all scorers with 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the championship game.
With so much talent from not just the United States but across the world on display for three days, here are five things we learned from the 2013 Nike Global Challenge.
The deepest position in 2014
We are two-thirds of the way through the July recruiting period, but these players have been playing on the travel team circuit since April and it's clear that the wing position -- the shooting guards and small forwards -- has an elite group that scores easy and often.
The Global Challenge only confirmed that thought as the collection of wing talent was elite. It's the deepest position in the 2014 class, and the core players at the top are starting to separate themselves because of their ability to consistently score, play at a high level and win.