Simmons, Maker and Wynyard named to 2015 Nike Hoop Summit World Team
Australian prospects Ben Simmons and Thon Maker, as well as New Zealand's Tai Wynyard, have been selected to the World Team for the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit.
Ben Simmons and Thon Maker
The Nike Hoop Summit is a premier annual basketball game that features the world’s best basketball players aged 19 years old or younger taking on a USA Basketball Junior National Select Team that is comprised of elite, American high school seniors.
Simmons, who has signed with LSU, will have a very busy April. The 6'10 forward has been selected to compete in the McDonald's All America Game, The Jordan Brand Classic and will likely compete at the DICKS National Championship Tournament in the hopes of winning his third straight National Championship with Montverde Academy.
Simmons is ESPN's #1 ranked player for the Class of 2015 and averaged an extremely impressive 27.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.5 spg and 1.4 bpg in his senior year. He was recently named the Morgan Wootten Play of the Year, an award recognising the best McDonald's All American player of the year.
Ben Simmons | Credit to Max Preps/Jim Redman
Thon Maker is expected to don an Australian uniform at this event, with his selection coming quite late due to his recent push to reclassify to the Class of 2015. The 7'1 Sudanese-Australia centre currently attends Orangeville Prep in Ontario, Canada and will be joined on the World Team by teammate Jamal Murray.
Both Simmons and Maker have ruled themselves out of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships in June so this event may be the only chance each athlete gets to represents Australia this calendar year. It's a possibility that Simmons may also be a member of the upcoming Boomers squad for the FIBA Oceania Men's Championships in August.
Tai Wynyard, the 6'9 forward out of Aukland, New Zealand, has seemingly come out of no-where and is still somewhat of an unknown to coaches and scouts alike. The Kentucky commit is a junior development player for the New Zealand Breakers - the newly crowned NBL Champions. He is the only Class of 2016 prospect on either team which will make him the youngest participant at the event.
Wynyard will be joined by fellow Kentucky commit Skal Labissiere on the World Team.
An incredible 165 Hoop Summit alumni have been drafted in the NBA, and as of March 10, 2015, 90 U.S. and World Team alumni were active in the NBA, comprising nearly one-quarter of the league.
Dante Exum's rise to prominence came as result of an impressive Nike Hoop Summit performance in 2013. The 6'6 guard, who's now the starting point guard for the Utah Jazz, posted 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in just 22 minutes.
The game is scheduled for Saturday, April 11th at the Rose Garden, in Portland, Oregon, and will be broadcasted on ESPN2 at 12pm PST (3PM EST). For Australians, the game will be broadcast live on ESPN on April 12th at 5am (AEST).