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2017 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Roster Analysis

2017 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp Roster Analysis
Feb 07, 2017, 11:14 am
A detailed look at the rosters for the NBA Basketball Without Borders Global Camp, which will be held in New Orleans during NBA All-Star Weekend 2017.



The inaugural Basketball Without Borders camp, run by the NBA and basketball governing body FIBA, was held in 2001. Since then, BWB has hosted players from across the globe at camps in 22 countries on five continents.

A welcomed addition to the scouting calendar when the camp was held for the first time in 2015 at All-Star Weekend in New York City, the BWB Global Camp gives NBA team personnel unparalleled access to the future of global hoops on North American soil, saving quite a bit of time and money, and giving prospects invaluable exposure in front of top-level decision makers.

This year figures to continue the great tradition of the Basketball without Borders program while building a bridge between the event and the NBA's new Global Academy Initiative, which is already underway in several countries around the world. Some of the players attending are indeed some of the select few currently in the NBA Academy pipeline, which will continue to grow side by side with the BWB program for years to come.

We also find a heavy influence of internationals currently enrolled in American high schools, which makes sense for logistical reasons. In the future, some of these players may elect to take the NBA Academy route, but for now thousands of young prospects pour into the US every year to enroll in high schools and prep schools, and will end up playing college basketball.

DraftExpress will once again be in attendance covering all three days of the camp and evaluating the prospects in attendance.

Directors and Staff

Current and former NBA players in attendance will include Cheick Diallo (Mali), Wayne Ellington, Justin Holiday, Meyers Leonard, Thon Maker (South Sudan), Emmanuel Mudiay (DR Congo), Jamal Murray (Canada), Adonal Foyle (St. Vincent and Grenadines), Rushia Brown, Ebony Hoffman, and Ruth Riley as well as select players from the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge. They'll be joined by current and former NBA coaches including Joe Connelly (Denver), Jay Hernandez (Orlando), Fred Vinson (New Orleans), and Matt Riccardi (NBADL).

Gersson Rosas (Houston), Marin Sedlacek (Philadelphia), Masai Ujiri (Toronto), and Patrick Hunt (WABC) will serve as camp directors. Wally Blase will serve as the camp's athletic trainer.

Camp Roster

Like last year, this year's camp roster features plenty of familiar names, some unknowns, a few returnees, and plenty of future NBA prospects, although very few will be draft eligible this June. The 41 attendees hail from 24 different countries and include a total of five consensus top-15 prep prospects from the 2017, 2018, and 2019 classes.
SF
PLAYERHTPOSBDAYAGECOUNTRY
Aashay Verma7'1"C1999 India
Abdoul Coulibaly6'8"PF2000 16.1 Mali
Andrew Nembhard6'4"PG2000 17.0 Canada
Andrija Marjanovic6'7"SG1999 18.0 Serbia
Arnas Velicka6'4"PG1999 17.1 Lithuania
Balsa Koprivica6'11"PF/C2000 16.7 Serbia
Blaise Keita6'10"C1999 17.6 Mali
Callum Dalton6'8"C2000 16.7 Australia
Charles Bassey6'10"PF2000 16.2 Nigeria
Cheick Faye6'6" Senegal
Emmanuel Akot6'7"SF1999 17.8Canada
Francisco Caffaro6'11"C2000 16.7 Argentina
Glofate Garcia Buiamba6'6"SF1999 18.0 Angola
Haofeng Sun China
Ignas Brazdeikis6'8"PF1999 18.0 Lithuania
Isaac Bonga6'9"SF1999 17.2 Germany
Jacob Epperson6'11"C Australia
Jae Min Yang6'6"C1999 17.6 South Korea
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua6'10"PF/C1999 17.7 Cameroon
Junjie Wang6'6"SF1999 17.4 China
Kevin Zhang6'6"SF China
Kristian Sjolund6'8"SF1999 17.4 USA
Lautaro Lopez6'3"PG1999 18.0 Argentina
Luguentz Dort6'4"SG1999 17.8 Canada
Moulaye Sissoko6'8"PF1999 17.2 Mali
Noah Kirkwood6'7"SG1999 17.1 Canada
Oussama Marnaoui6'4"G1999 17.6 Tunisia
Patrick Mwamba Kazumba6'7"SF1999 17.3 Congo DR
Philipp Herkenhoff6'10"PF1999 17.6 Germany
Quinn Clinton6'3"PG/SG1999 18.0 New Zealand
R.J. Barrett6'6"SG2000 16.6 Canada
Remy Brewer6'7"G Trinidad & Tobago
Ricky Waxlax6'4"SF1999 17.1 Finland
Sam Froling6'9"C2000 16.9 Australia
Sandro Mamukelashvili6'9"PF1999 17.7 USA
Sergi Martinez6'7"PF1999 17.7 Spain
Silvio De Sousa6'8"PF1998 18.3 Angola
Simi Shittu6'9"PF1999 17.2 Canada
Souleymane Doumbia6'11"C1999 17.8 Ivory Coast
Taane Samuel6'7"SF1999 17.7 New Zealand
Tarek Raafat6'2"G1999 17.6 USA


Roster Analysis

-The headliner of this year's event will be R.J. Barrett, the son of long-time pro and Canadian National Team standout Rowan Barrett. A sophomore at Montverde Academy hailing from Toronto, Barrett wowed scouts with a sensational performance playing up a year at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championships in Zaragoza averaging 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over 25.7 minutes per game.

An outstanding physical specimen already with great size, long arms, and terrific athleticism, Barrett looks the part of an elite wing prospect on first glance at just 16 years old. A powerful slasher who flashes outstanding body control as a finisher, and unselfish passing ability, Barrett has a promising skill set, the improvement of which NBA scouts will be keeping a close eye on here. If Barrett can demonstrate improved shot making ability from the perimeter and a bit more creativity off the dribble and around the rim while playing his normally terrific defense, the lefty will build on the momentum he's already garnered as one of the top prospects in high school basketball.


-Another consensus top-3 player for the class of 2019, Nigerian power forward Charles Bassey is a long-term prospect scouts will be paying close attention to. A long 6'10 big man with a chiseled frame, Bassey is currently playing at St. Anthony Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas. After being ruled ineligible to compete in the TAPPS along with a number of teammates last fall, Bassey got good news in December as St. Anthony jumped to the TCALmaking him eligible once again shortly after.

A gifted athlete who finishes explosively around the rim, shows some skill from the midrange, and has the tools to be a presence on the glass and as a rim protector, Bassey is an intriguing big man prospect with loads of raw talent. Less battle tested than many of the older prospects on this roster, this camp should be a great litmus test for where the 16-year-old stands against a group of more polished peers and where he needs to improve the most moving forward.


Canada is well represented at this camp, with six players other than Barrett on the roster in Andrew Nembhard, Emmanuel Akot, Luguentz Dort, Simi Shittu, Ignas Brazdeikis and Noah Kirkwood.

Shittu is perhaps poised to make the most immediate impact, as the 6'9 power forward has long been hailed as one of the top prospects in the 2018 high school class, and has quite a bit of experience in FIBA settings, the Nike EYBL Circuit, and three separate showings at adidas Nations the past three years. Shittu struggled at the FIBA U17 World Championship in Zaragoza last summer, making just 41% of his 2-point attempts and 37% of his free throws, but has rebranded himself as somewhat of a point forward this year in high school with Vermont Academy. It will be interesting to see how his perimeter shooting and overall skill-level is evolving, as he's already a gifted athlete with a terrific frame who rebounds extremely well and guards multiple positions.


Fellow 2018 high school prospect Noah Kirkwood hasn't been on the radar for nearly as long as Simi Shittu, but is starting to emerge as a noteworthy prospect in his own right as of late.

Showing good size, a nice frame, solid athleticism, and a fairly versatile skill-set, Kirkwood has many of the requisite tools you look for in a young wing prospect. His high basketball IQ, coupled with his solid intensity level defensively, makes him someone NBA teams will want to take note of, even if it might take him a few years to put it all together as a prospect.


Emmanuel Akot is another highly touted 2018 Canadian prospect playing at the BWB. He didn't have the best showing at the U17 World Championship in Zaragoza last summer either, taking somewhat of a back seat at times, but is considered a five star recruit here in the US thanks to his impressive versatility. Akot defends multiple positions, and is an unselfish passer, but is still working on improving his polish as a ball-handler and perimeter shooter to make the full time transition to the wing.


-6'9 power forward Silvio De Souza is another elite 2018 high school prospect. He is making a return to the BWB Global Camp after participating in the 2015 version in New York just a few weeks after arriving in the US from Angola. He's since made a name for himself on the high school and AAU circuit, completely dominated the FIBA U18 African Championship, and even saw some minutes with the Angolan senior national team in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament this past summer. A gifted athlete with an outstanding motor, De Souza will certainly up the intensity level of this event and provide a major test for the other big men in attendance.


Besides De Souza, there are quite a few other prospects invited to this camp originally born in Africa who are now playing high school basketball in the US. Abdoul Coulibaly, Blaise Keita and Moulaye Sissoko are three participants from Mali who have arrived in the States within the past year or two. Tarek Raafat is an American-Egyptian point guard at Ridgeview high school in North Carolina. Souleymane Doumbia is a big man from the Ivory Coast playing at Athlos Leadership in Texas.

-Another dual citizen playing high school basketball in the US is Norwegian born forward Kristian Sjolund from Texas. Sjolund is still very much flying under the radar of American scouting services, but proved to be an extremely intriguing long-term prospect at the Basketball Without Borders Europe camp in Helsinki in September. Possessing great size for the small forward position (and tall enough to play some small-ball 4), with outstanding athleticism, Sjolund is a competitive player who shows enough budding skill enough in a variety of areas to lead you to believe he can develop his polish in time. Sjolund won't be a secret much longer at the conclusion of this camp, even if he's already being recruited by a handful of elite-level colleges.


-
Cameroonian big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is not very well known at this point, but has a chance to really make a name for himself in New Orleans. He emerged at last summer's Basketball Without Borders Africa in Angola, and quickly established himself as a highly intriguing prospect, earning one of the very first invites (three) to the NBA Global Academy in Australia. It will be very interesting to see how far along he is in his development compared to his peers here.


-
Patrick Mwamba Kazumba from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cheick Faye of Senegal, are two prospects currently playing at the just recently launched NBA Academy in Senegal. Kazumba had an impressive showing last summer at the U18 FIBA Africa Championship, finishing third in scoring despite playing up 12-18 months on the competition.
Cheick Faye didn't have to travel far to enroll at the NBA Academy in Senegal, as he was already a part of SEED Academy which became part of the NBA initiative. He, like Tchatchoua and Kazumba, had a strong showing at the BWB Angola in September, cementing himself as one of the best prospects on the continent.

-
Serbian-born big man Balsa Koprivica is being touted as one of the top prospects in the 2019 high school class already, and will play up here as a 2000-born player. His skill-level is impressive, but it will be interesting to see how ready he is from a physical standpoint to match up with the older, stronger and more mature big men he encounters here./


Other European participants include power forward Sergi Martinez, point guard Arnas Velicka and wing Andrija Marjanovic, who are all coming off a strong showing in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in L'Hospitalet playing for FC Barcelona. They will be joined by Germans Isaac Bonga and Philipp Herkenhoff.

-Bonga will be one of the main attractions at this camp for NBA scouts, as he's established himself as one of the top international prospects born in 1999 with strong showings at the U16 European Championship, the NBA Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp in September, and recently the adidas Next Generation Tournament in Kaunas. He's already seen a handful of minutes at the pro level in first division Germany with Frankfurt, and is coming off some very strong performances recently in the third division, where he plays mostly at point guard despite standing 6'9. Bonga's ball-handling, passing and overall creativity give him great upside to grow into, but NBA scouts will want to get a better feel for where he stands in terms of his perimeter shooting and explosiveness, areas where he'll have to improve to reach his full potential as a prospect.


-Jacob Epperson was a complete unknown when he left Australia last spring, but quickly emerged as a priority recruit for many elite level colleges with his performances on the AAU circuit. His body is still at an early stage of development, so it will be interesting to see how he's able to fare in this setting.


Other Australians invited include Callum Dalton, and Sam Froling, the brother of last year's MVP, Harry Froling (now redshirting at Marquette after transferring from SMU following just one semester). New Zealand will have two participants from their U18 national team that heroically knocked off Australia at the U18 Oceania championship and secured a berth at the U19 World Championship. They are Quinn Clinton, a combo guard committed to New Mexico, and Taane Samuel, an athletic combo forward who has BWB experience from the Asia Camp last summer.

Argentineans Francisco Caffaro and Lautaro Lopez will represent South America at the BWB. Caffaro is an athletic 6'11 big man who is currently enrolled at the NBA Academy in Canberra, Australia. Lopez is a creative point guard already seeing minutes in the Argentinean first division. Unfortunately, Pedro Barros Nunes from Joventut (via Brazil) was forced to withdraw from the Camp due to an injury.

Asia is also well represented with Junjie Wang and Haofeng Sun traveling from China, Kevin Zhang, a solidly built Chinese forward and class of 2018 high school recruit currently enrolled at La Lumiere in Indiana, and Jae Min Yang of South Korea, who is playing in Madrid with Torrelodones. Yang had a strong showing at the U17 World Championship in Zaragoza, averaging 14 points per game for a South Korean team that exceeded expectations beating China and France and qualifying for the quarterfinals. India is sending a 7-footer in Aashay Verma, who is currently enrolled in the NBA Global Academy in Australia.

DeAndre Ayton was also a last minute withdrawal, after already having committed to playing initially. Ayton did not have great showings at the BWB Global Camp or the Nike Hoop Summit last year and may prefer to wait on getting this type of NBA exposure until he arrives at Arizona in the fall.

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