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Bismark Biyombo, a 6-foot-9, 243-pound forward from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was one of the break-out basketball players at the Nike Hoop Summit. He put on quite a display for NBA scouts as his World Team lost to the U.S. Junior National Team, 92-80. Biyombo registered a triple-double, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking 10 shots to go with 12 points.
After the game, Biyombo talked about his game, basketball experience and what he has left to work on with Ben Golliver, who covered the Nike Hoop Summit for SBNation.com. Video of Ben's interview with the potential NBA Draft lottery pick is below.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- To see Bismack Biyombo smile from ear to ear through almost a half hour of postgame interviews on Saturday night was to know that the Nike Hoop Summit has solidified another young international player's NBA trajectory.
For Biyombo, a 6-foot-9, 243-pound forward from the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's a path more than a decade in the making. "I was 7-years-old [when I first saw an NBA game]," Biyombo told SBNation.com. "My daddy was a basketball player and he showed me a lot of NBA games. His favorite player was Karl Malone. He's very similar to Karl Malone. He's strong, he's big. Then he showed me Hakeem Olajuwon. I really wanted to play basketball because I was watching those guys, the way they played. The way they were intense, going to the boards, fighting every time, wanting to win the game every time."
Intense, active on the glass, fighting every play -- Biyombo displayed all that and more in this year's Hoop Summit, as he went from scout's secret to high-rising sensation over the course of a week in Portland, posting eye-popping measurements early in the week and notching the first triple-double in the history of the game. Biyombo finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in 28 minutes for the World Team, which lost to Team USA 92-80 at the Rose Garden on Saturday night.
For international players like Biyombo, the result of this showcase is not nearly as important as how he looks head-to-head against his top American counterparts. In Anthony Davis, James McAdoo and Michael Gilchrist, Biyombo was facing three likely lottery picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Biyombo was the clear standout.
Showcase games always devolve in one way or another, and the second half of Saturday's Hoop Summit became a contest of "Who can drive into the paint against Biyombo and not get immediately swatted." Media members were openly rooting for Biyombo to set the Hoop Summit's blocked shots record as he used his incredible 7-foot-7 wingspan to swallow shots on their way up, catch floaters at their apex and smother attempts at the rim. He succeeds on defense not only because of his length but because of his quickness off the floor: Biyombo plays defense above the rim and he can get there in a hurry.
"It's incredible because you're a little bit in awe," said his coach for the week, Kevin Sutton. "You become a fan watching him play a little bit, it's hard as a coach because he does so many spectacular things ... He came off a plane and we asked him if wanted to practice. He had a long flight from Europe, he said he wanted to practice, he stepped on the court and had an immediate impact, jet lagged and tired. He's a phenomenal talent."
Biyombo, like most of the game's participants, is listed at 18 years old, but he's played professionally in Spain for two seasons, has a massive, sculpted NBA-ready body right now and looked like a man among boys all week, drawing speculation from scouts, fans and media alike about whether he is older than he lets on. Biyombo brushed off the age question in an interview with SI.com.
"I don't care how old he is, Biyombo can play NBA-caliber defense right now," one NBA talent evaluator said on Sunday.
That was the general consensus. Biyombo is ready now, his stock solidified as a 2011 first round pick, with the immediate buzz in the building included the NBA's L-word: Lottery.
"He's raw offensively and needs some molding, but that's a pretty impressive piece of clay," said a league executive, who marveled at Biyombo's overall athleticism and competitive desire.
Video of Bismack Biyombo at the Nike Hoop Summit from OregonLive.com.
The USA took down the World in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday night as the top college prospects showcased their talents in Portland. Led by Austin Rivers, the USA easily handled the World in a 92-80 win, thanks to four players in double-figures. Rivers scored a game-high 20 points to pace team USA in the win
Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis each scored 16 points for team USA, complimenting Rivers in the win. Quinn Cook added 12 points and Davis finished with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds to go with his 16 points. Tony Wroten Jr., from Seattle's Garfield High School, finished with a team-high five assists for the US squad.
Bismack Biyombo had a terrific all-around game for the world, finishing with a triple-double that included 12 points and 11 rebounds, along with a slew of blocks. His triple-double was the first in Hoops Summit history, a tremendous accomplishment considering the top-flight talent to play in the event over the years. Mateusz Ponitka had a team-high 17 points, with Kyle Wiltjer adding 12 points to the mix in the loss.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- After a week of practices, the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit -- an international high school basketball showcase game that pits the top players from across the United States against a roster comprised of players from four different continents -- tips off on Saturday night.
In recent years, the showcase game has been unpredictable. Team USA is almost always the heavy favorite and this year they certainly have the depth advantage, with nine McDonald's All-Americans and plenty of players good enough to go one-and-done into the 2012 NBA Draft lottery. The World Team generally plays a more cohesive game in these showcases, however, and this year's World Team has the most imposing big man on either squad in Bismack Biyombo from the Congo.
WHEN: Saturday, April 9 at 10 p.m. (Eastern) / 7 p.m. (Pacific)
WHERE: The Rose Garden in Portland, Home of the Portland Trail Blazers
HOW TO WATCH: Fox Sports Network (FSN) -- Live broadcast
TICKETS: Purchase at RoseQuarter.com.
WHO TO WATCH: Team USA features many likely future lottery picks: Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Michael Gilchrist, James McAdoo and Marquis Teague. The World Team features many potential future NBA players: Bismack Biyombo (Congo), Lucas Nogueira (Brazil), Davis Bertans (Latvia) and Kyle Wilter (Canada).
PORTLAND, ORE. -- James McAdoo, one of the Class of 2011’s most NBA-ready prospects, also happens to be one of its most overlooked. How bad is it? He still has trouble convincing his high school friends how good he is.
A 6-9, 220 pound forward from Norfolk, Va., who has committed to play basketball at North Carolina next season, McAdoo is in Portland to compete in Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit. He’s fresh off scoring 17 points in last week’s McDonald’s All-American Game, where he won co-MVP honors along with Somerdale, N.J., forward Michael Gilchrist. Despite taking home the hardware, he said his friends back home haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that he’s on the same level as Gilchrist, whose been nationally known for years, or Winter Park, Fla., guard Austin Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
"Even my friends love these guys like Rivers and Gilchrist," McAdoo joked on Thursday after an evening Hoop Summit practice at the Portland Trail Blazers practice facility. "I’m like, ‘These [players] are just my friends, hop off their nuts.’"
While McAdoo might not yet have the national name recognition of Gilchrist or Rivers, or the hype factor of 6-10 Chicago forward Anthony Davis, the Class of 2011’s top overall prospect, there are plenty of reasons his friends back home, and NBA observers, should be watching him carefully. DraftExpress.com recently placed him in the No. 4 spot in its 2012 NBA Draft and there is a lot to like.
While McAdoo said that he played all five positions at some point in high school, he translates as an inside-out power forward on the NBA level. His frame is big and solid for his age – he just turned 18 – but there’s certainly room for him to add additional weight. McAdoo is most comfortable facing the basket, but unlike many stretch forwards he rarely floats on the perimeter. He can handle the ball, get his own shot in the mid-range, has a solid first step and good body control to get to the basket plus the strength to finish in traffic. His rebounding instincts, timing and motor are very good, and he tucked home a number of putbacks from the weakside during a brief Thursday night scrimmage. Defensively, he moves laterally on the perimeter well, maintains contact in the post and, most of all, is under control and coordinated in a way that many players who are his size at his age aren’t. There’s a smoothness factor on both ends, despite his willingness to do the dirty work.
"A lot of people call me a hybrid four," McAdoo said, shaking his head. "But I don’t know. Maybe I’ll become someone like a Zach Randolph or something. A big banger who can still shoot the ball. Or like a Marvin Williams, a guy who is a 3/4. Hopefully I can just improve my game, get bigger, gain some weight and just really come into my own … I don’t want to get stuck underneath the basket, though. I want to be able to have a multi-dimensional game. I think that can make me a better sell to an NBA team. … I have the ability to kick it into overdrive and really show out."
Multi-dimensional is en vogue in the NBA these days and, assessing his current package of skills, it’s fair to call McAdoo the most polished big man in the 2011 class right now. He also doesn’t lack for confidence. Asked what he hoped an NBA scout that sees him play this week would report back to their GMs, McAdoo smiled. "Hopefully he says ‘This cat McAdoo is the real deal.’
"With me, I don’t think you have any risks. A lot of guys here could be NBA MVP or they could also fall off the map just because you don’t really know with that transition to the college or the NBA. But I think with me, I’m a safe pick. I think I can be a franchise player, I can carry a team. I have that mental toughness and I’m a baller. My last name is McAdoo so you already know what you’re getting with that."
So, about that last name. While it’s been widely reported that Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is James’ uncle, the younger McAdoo says the relationship isn’t that simple. "People always think Bob is my dad. I call him my uncle. He’s really like my, I don’t know, my dad’s great-great-great grandfather and his great-grandfather are like brothers, so I don’t know what makes us. We’ve got a last name. All McAdoos are family."
Along with his last name and his family’s ties to the Chapel Hill area come great expectations for next season. McAdoo already has plans to report for summer pickup ball on June 12 and is anxious to show what he’s about to Tar Heels fans. "I'm a consistent presence on the floor that can score the ball as well as defend and hopefully be a stat sheet stuffer. … My goal for college is to average 20 and 10 as a freshman. No one ever does that. They might average 20 but they can never get 10 rebounds."
McAdoo is right: no one ever does that. Basketball-Reference shows just three players who have averaged 20 and 10 as a freshman in the last decade -- Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and Kris Humphries -- and none played in the ACC. All three, interestingly, happen to be Hoop Summit alumni and impact players on the next level. This is the time to dream big.
Being around so many pros during Carolina’s summer runs, McAdoo admitted, has him thinking about that next level too. "Just seeing all the pro guys that came back, definitely made it real to me. They put so many guys in the NBA. Roy Williams does a great job of developing his players, the system they play is like a pro system. It’s definitely my dream, it’s what I put all these hours in for. Sure, a free education and attending North Carolina is a dream, but that next stepping stone would be to play professionally."
McAdoo said the high school showcase event circuit has made that NBA dream feel a lot more real. At least when he’s not at home. "Last week at the McDonald’s All-American game, they said 70 percent of guys that play in that game go on to play in the NBA," McAdoo said. "Here I am getting the co-MVP. You try not to think about [the NBA] too much. Sure, when your mom yells at you for not taking out the garbage, you’re like, ‘Come on, mom, cut me some slack. I did just get co-MVP.’"
As for finally getting the recognition he feels he deserves from his friends? That’s coming too. "My phone did blow up [after the McDonald’s game]. I actually had to get another phone, it’s crazy. So many people were calling me and texting me, I just shut that phone off and use this other phone now. It’s cool. I like it. It’s a lifestyle I could get used to living."
While the Nike Hoop Summit might not have the street cred, name recognition or history of the McDonald's All-American Game, it's become a must-see, week-long event for NBA scouts because it has one thing the Mickey D's game doesn't: an abundance of top international talent.
While Canadians who played their high school basketball in the United States -- players like Myck Kabongo and Khem Birch -- are eligible for the McDonald's game, high school aged future NBA players playing professionally in Europe, Africa, South America or Asia are simply absent at the Golden Arches.
That's where the Hoop Summit comes in. The game features a hand-selected group of 10 international players -- generally from three if not four continents -- and has an established track record of uncovering future NBA players. That "World Team" faces a group of 10 top American players -- including many McDonald's All-Americans in a showcase game on Saturday, April 10 at the Rose Garden arena, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. One of the game's biggest benefits is its timing, as it precedes the NBA Draft by just a few months, serving as a great, recent data point for the league's talent evaluators.
As global scouting has become more systematized, this game has become a serious pipeline. Six 2010 first round picks -- including John Wall, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins -- were Hoop Summit alumni. Lottery picks from 2009 -- including Tyreke Evans and DeMar DeRozan -- were Hoop Summit alumni. Six 2008 lottery picks -- including Derrick Rose and Kevin Love -- were Hoop Summit alumni. And, last year's Hoop Summit was headlined by a few names -- Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes -- with whom you're probably familiar. International players that currently play in the NBA who passed through this game in recent years include Serge Ibaka, Yi Jianlian, Nicolas Batum, Patty Mills, Andrea Bargnani, Luis Scola and Kevin Seraphin. Texas forward Tristan Thompson and Turkish big man Enes Kanter -- who was ruled ineligible to play for Kentucky -- played in last year's game.
This year's Nike Hoop Summit USA Team includes 10 McDonald's All-Americans. Among them: likely future lottery picks Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Michael Gilchrist and James McAdoo. The World Team features multiple international players who are projected to be first round draft picks by DraftExpress.com, headlined by Bimack Biyombo from the Congo (a ridiculous 7-foot-7 wingspan making him nearly a foot longer than he is tall) and Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira from Brazil (whose standing reach is 9-3, meaning he can essentially dunk when he stands on his tip toes).
Over the last two or three years, interest in the Hoop Summit has catapulted. In some cases, it's the best -- if not the only -- place to see raw international prospects face off against their American colleagues. It's become a setting for players to make or break their reputations. Wall's dominance in Portland during 2009 catapulted him to the top of most mock draft boards. Kanter's huge game last year solidified his stock as a future lottery pick. A middling showing can often lead international prospects to head back home for another year of seasoning.
Like any showcase event, the Hoop Summit has a fair bit of razzle dazzle and can stray from fundamental basketball for stretches. As important as the main event on Saturday night, though, is the week's worth of practices at the Blazers' practice facility that lead up to the event, where media and scouts are able to watch prospects go through drill work, halfcourt sets and live scrimmages. The gym was already packed on Wednesday night as Biyombo stole the show with his high-energy defense, activity on the glass and a series of thunderous dunks.
Team USA kicks off practice on Thursday. SBNation.com will be there all week to keep you apprised of the important developments.
All roster information courtesy of NikeHoopSummit.com.
|G||6'3''||180||06/28/93||Chaminade Prep / St.Louis, MO||Florida|
|F||6'9''||225||12/01/91||New Church Academy / Philadelphia, MD||Syracuse|
|Quinn Cook *||G||6'1''||178||03/23/93||Oak Hill / Bowie, MD||Duke|
|Anthony Davis *||F||6'10''||220||03/11/93||Perspectives Charter / Chicago, IL||Kentucky|
|Michael Gilchrist *||F||6'7''||220||09/26/93||St.Patrick HS / Somerdale, NJ||Kentucky|
|James McAdoo *||F||6'8''||210||01/04/93||St.Patrick HS / Norfolk, VA||No.Carolina|
|Austin Rivers *||G||6'3''||175||08/01/92||WinterPark HS / WinterPark, FL||Duke|
|Marquis Teague *||G||6'2''||175||02/28/93||Pike HS / Indianapolis, IN||Kentucky|
|Adonis Thomas *||G||6'6''||205||03/25/93||Bishop Melrose HS / Cordova, TN||Memphis|
|Tony Wroten||G||6'5''||206||04/13/93||Garfield HS / Seattle, WA||Washington|
|Kyle Wiltjer *||F||6'10''||221||1992||Canada||Jesuit HS (Portland, OR)|
|Dario Saric||F||6'9''||190||1994||Croatia||KK Dubrava Zagreb|
|Davis Bertans||F||6'7''||205||1992||Latvia||Union Olimpija Jr. Team|
|Mateusz Ponitka||G||6'5''||190||1993||Poland||AZS Politechnika|
|Kevin Pangos||G||6'1''||178||1993||Canada||Dr.Dennison HS (Ont)|
|Evan Fornier||G||6'6''||185||1992||France||Union Poitiers|
|Raul Togni Neto||G||6'2''||195||1992||Brazil||Pitagoras Minas Tenis Club|
|Lucas Riva Nogueira||C||7'0''||225||1992||Brazil||Estudiantes|
|Przemyslaw Karnowski||C||7'0''||269||1993||Poland||Sport School Cetniewo|
|Bismack Biyombo||F/C||6'9''||240||1992||Congo||Baloncesto Fuenlabrada|
* designates McDonald's All-American
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