Last weekend, in the first game of the Nike EYBL league, a showdown between top ranked prospects DeAndre Ayton and Mohammed Bamba ended in disappointment as Ayton was noticeably slowed due to a leg injury he sustained diving for a loose ball in the second half.
Bamba and the PSA Cardinals went on to beat Ayton and Cal Supreme, 69-66.
Luckily for Ayton and fans of the game, he won’t have to wait long for a rematch, as the two teams are set to go at it again on Saturday in the second session of the EYBL league, which is also a part of the NCAA evaluation period.
The 40-game session will be streamed live on ESPNU, beginning at 9 a.m.
In last week’s game, Bamba, a seven footer from Brooklyn, had 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the game. Despite the injury, Ayton finished with seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
Some of the top National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I coaches were on hand for the game, including John Calipari (Kentucky), Bill Self (Kansas), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).
Unlike Bamba, who scored the game’s first basket and was strong early on, it took Ayton a while to get going, but despite his struggles, he remained aggressive and showed off his high basketball IQ (intelligence quotient), handing out a few assists until he was able to get on the scoreboard.
His time in the game was highlighted by a huge jam over PSA’s Deng Gak. Ayton got Gak in the air with an up-fake and followed it with a pivot move and a dunk. He also showed off his mid-range jumper, pulling up for the shot when the defenders expected him to take it to the basket.
Unfortunately for Ayton, he suffered a minor leg injury in a scrum for a loose ball, which rendered him ineffective most of the rest of the game.
Ayton an Cal Supreme, got their first win of the tournament last Sunday in a 62-54 win over the Georgia Stars. He finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds.