2012 Adidas Nations Recap
Over the past five days, Orange County, CA has played host to the World’s premiere high school prospects. The prestigious adidas Nations event fielded nine teams, including representatives from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America. Forty of the most sought-after American recruits were divided into four teams (2013 Blue, 2013 Red, 2014 Blue, 2014 Red).
Following four days of skill development training and pool play against the highest competition, a champion was crowned on Monday. The bright lights hovered over the gym floor at Long Beach City College Hall of Champions Gym as CBS Sports was the in building broadcasting both the championship and consolation bouts.
Tipping-off first were Team USA 2014 Blue and Team Australia, a fight for third place in the event. Team Australia, led by Dante Exum, was off to the races in the first quarter, garnering a 10-point advantage over their opponents. In the second half, Team USA 2014 Blue would go on a 22-2 run, taking the lead in the ball-game. Team USA did not let up the rest of the game, marching onto a 82-62 win.
Isaiah Whitehead, who took a visit to UCLA while at the event, led Team USA 2014 Blue with 15 points. The Brooklyn, New York product was awarded MVP of the game. Justise Winslow, a Five-Star 3rd Team All-American, added 14 points and eight rebounds in the win. In the loss, Exum posted a game-high 17 points.
The championship game featured a slew of the nation’s top prospects as Team USA 2013 Blue faced Team USA 2014 Red. A back-and-forth affair would see both teams squander leads, necessitating an extra period to decide the winner.
In the final moments, Emmanuel Mudiay would find teammate Noah Vonleh for the final shot. Vonleh, a top recruit in the class of 2014, would connect on a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining in overtime, giving Team USA 2014 Red team an 86-84 championship win.
Vonleh, a star on the Mass Rivals Club, recorded a double-double in the victory, posting 25 points and 16 rebounds. The versatile 6-8 forward finished adidas Nations as the event’s leading scorer and rebounder, an impressive feat. Mudiay, a silky-smooth guard with offers from the nation’s elite programs, added 18 points. The two rising juniors were named Co-MVPs of the championship game.
For Team USA 2013 Blue, Devin Williams of Ohio Basketball Club finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while teammates Jordan Matthews, Kendal Harris, a recent USC commit and Jermaine Lawrence, finished with 13, 12, and 11 points, respectively.