My 2011 Nike Hoop Summit Rant
Published by Drew Ebanks on April 10, 2011
The Nike Hoop Summit is billed as the game where the best U19, Senior high school players from around the world, come to play. It pits the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team up against a World Select team laying it all out in a game for world basketball supremecy. The alumni that have played through this game almost reads like an NBA All-Star roster signifying the importance that only the creme de la creme need be invited.
That sentimentality has certainly stirred some controversy going into this year’s game as #2 consensus PG and Canadian Myck Kabongo was left off the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit World team. He wasn’t too happy about that and tweeted as much, implicating the World Team’s Coach Rana. Rana, who also happens to be Canadian, denied having anything to do with the selection process. His position was backed by Canadian Sr. Men’s team Head Coach, Leo Rautins, as well as others connected to the Hoop Summit event and Nike representatives.
Kevin Pangos, who was selected and is always the gracious fellow, empathized by mentioning Myck should have been in the game too, but realizes that unfortunately Canada could only send two players, himself and Kyle Wiltjer. It’s hard to believe that Canada, the hockey country it is, would be having problems with “politics” with respect to basketball All-Star/International games. But this may be just the beginning of tough decisions as the talent bursting through the seams is going to cause a lot of second-guessing going forward. I believe Kabongo should have been there and I even tweeted as much. But in a way it’s great for Canada because it gets another name “out there” as Kabongo will be playing in the Jordan Brand Classic, having already played in the McDonald’s All-American game as well. Canada needs to get as many names in the world basketball consciousness in order to bring more attention and possibly money to the program. This will only benefit our basketball fortunes going forward. Someday I can see Kabongo, Pangos and Cory Joseph all playing for Canada so there’s no sense in “beefing” over the small things. Unity is the key to Canada’s success in basketball in the future.