by RENALDO DORSETT
In the second Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Bahamas game, several of the top ranked high school basketball players in America will be in action when the exhibition tips off this Saturday.
The Nike roster will be led by several likely NCAA “one and done prospects” including Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr, Brandon McCoy and Mitchell Robinson.
Carter, the 6’9” prospect out of Pace Academy is ranked second behind Bahamian prospect Deandre Ayton in the class of 2017 on the ESPN 100 and has received offers from Duke, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Harvard and Texas A and M.
Bamba, the 7’ center out of Westtown is ranked third in the class and his impressive list of offers includes Arizona, UConn, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, St. John’s, Syracuse and Villanova.
McCoy is a 6’11” center from Cathedral Catholic High who is ranked sixth in the 2017 class and has received offers from Arizona, North Carolina, California, Kansas, UConn, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan State, San Diego State, UCLA and Oregon.
Trent, the sharpshooting 6’5” guard out of Findlay College Prep has fielded offers from Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, UCLA, while Robinson, the 6’11” center out of Chalmette High has committed to Western Kentucky.
Other members of the loaded Nike roster include No. 10 Brian Bowen (LaLumiere), No. 14 Lonnie Walker (Reading High), No. 16 PJ Washington (Findlay College Prep), No.21 Trae Young (Norman High), No.22 Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti High), No. 26 Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook High), No.27 Matt Coleman (Oak Hill Academy) and No.28 Troy Brown Jr (Centennial High).
Carter, Bamba, Trent, and Young will all be making their second consecutive appearance at the Nike EYBL game.
The Bahamas will look to field a more competitive team after a lopsided finish in 2015.
Sources indicated that the Bahamas select squad could be led by DeAndre Ayton, the No.1 recruit in America for the class of 2017, however his participation could not be confirmed.
Ayton, the 7’0” 240 pound forward out of Hillcrest Academy in Arizona recently competed in the Adidas Nations tournament earlier this month where he led Team Harden with 13 points and 14 rebounds in a 123-96 win over Team Canada.
He also delivered a standout series of performances at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in July.
As it stands, the roster for team Bahamas will include Adam Johnson (Jordan Prince William), Corey Sands (CC Sweeting), Jefferson Oliver (Jordan Prince William), Azaro Roker (Anatol Rodgers), Domnick Bridgewater (Anatol Rodgers), Lathaniel Bastian (Doris Johnson), Franco Miller (Tabernacle Baptist), Livingston Bromwell (Ridley College/Ontario, Canada), Adrian Thompson Jr (CC Sweeting), Jalen Hall (Jack Hayward), Godfrey Rolle (Sunrise Christian Academy/ Witcha, Kansas), and Anderias Blacks(CC Sweeting).
Johnson recently won the MVP award at the Buddy Hield Invitational while Bridgewater was a star at the national team level and won MVP honours for the U16 team that captured the Caribbean Basketball Confederation title. Roker will play in the game for the second consecutive year while Thompson, Sands and Blacks led the Cobras to the GSSSA, Hugh Campbell and National titles last season.
The footwear and apparel giant is hosting some of the best high school seniors and underclassmen in America at the Bahamas edition of the Nike EYBL Camp, August 20 at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium at 5pm.
The event was created last year emerging out of the prospect battle between Nike and rival show company Under Armour.
Both Nike and Under Armour hosted events concurrently, with the Under Armour Elite 24 hosted in Brooklyn, New York, and the new Nike event in the Bahamas.
The Under-Armour Elite 24 has quickly become one of the premier events during the summer as the bidding war between major shoe companies heats up in an attempt to claim top college prospects. It is televised live on ESPN, but the creation of Nike’s new event has lured away some of its star power.
In 2015, the Nike EYBL Select team, coached by NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton, made quick work of the Bahamas Select team with a 125-65 win.
Rashad Davis and Charles Bain, both of Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, led the way for team Bahamas with 16 points. Roker finished with 10, while Calvin Anderson of St. Louis Christian Academy and now Navarro Junior College, added six.
Duke commit Jayson Tatum led the Nike EYBL team with 18 points, Trent scored 17 and Florida State commit Jonathan Isaac scored 16.