Tournament MVP Josh Giddey leads NBA Global Academy to victory in Spain
The NBA Global Academy swept its way to victory at the 2020 Torneo Junior Ciutat de L'Hospitalet held in Barcelona, Spain, with exciting Australian prospect Josh Giddey named tournament MVP.
Having progressed to the final with four consecutive victories, the NBA Global Academy accounted for FC Barcelona 93-74 in the final on the back of a commanding second half performance.
Led by Giddey's 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists, the Global Academy put on a second half show, outscoring the home side 53-27 to earn the title. Fellow Aussie Mojave King also stood out in providing 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Tamuri Wigness added 9 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
The pathway to tournament victory was not easy for the NBA Global Academy, successfully navigating Group A with victories over Basket Zaragoza (88-77), Club Joventut Badalona (80-79) and Club Basquet L’Hospitalet (87-55). In the thrilling victory over Joventut, Giddey (14 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists) set up Blake Jones (10 points and 10 rebounds) for the game-winning three at the buzzer. Wigness led all scorers in that win with 17 points and 4 assists.
The semifinal against Fundación 5+11 was a close contest who would force an extra time courtesy of a three-pointer in the dying seconds of regulation. The NBA Global Acadamy would hold off challenges in the extra period behind the play of Wigness (19 points and 3 assists) and from Haitian-Canadian rising star Bennedict Mathurin (30 points and 6 rebounds). Giddey would finish the semifinal win just shy of a triple-double, contributing 13 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Giddey would finish the tournament with averages of 11.2 points (7th), 8.4 rebounds (3rd) and 4.6 assists (2nd) per game en route to being named tournament MVP. Wigness capped an impressive tournament by providing 10.8 points and 2.8 assists per game, while King added 13 points per contest.
Along with Mathurin and Egypt's Aly Khalifa, Giddey, King and Wigness were the NBA Global Academy players to stand out throughout the tournament.