Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Sneaker Wars Heat Up (Again) as Nike Plans Bahamas Alternative to Elite 24 Game
NEW YORK — The sneaker wars are heating up again.
Nike plans to hold an Elite Youth Basketball Camp in the Bahamas for a second straight year that takes place Aug. 20 — the same weekend as the Under Armour Elite 24 Game at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2.
“Obviously they want to have something so they don’t have their best players suiting up [for Under Armour],” one Nike-sponsored coach told SNY.tv.
Cal Supreme 7-footer DeAndre Ayton (a native of the Bahamas), Las Vegas Prospects guard Troy Brown and Wendell Carter Jr., a 6-foot-10 forward from Atlanta (GA) Pace Academy, are making the Nike trip, while other possibilities include PSA Cardinals 7-footer Mohamed Bamba, Houston Hoops forward Jarred Vanderbilt, Howard Pulley guard Gary Trent Jr. and the MoKan Elite duo of Trae Young and Washington commit Michael Porter Jr.
All of those players competed in Nike’s Bahamas event last year, as did incoming Michigan State freshman Miles Bridges, incoming Duke freshmen Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum and incoming Kentucky freshmen Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.
The news was first reported by Bahamian news outlet Tribune Media, and confirmed to SNY.tv by multiple sources.
“It’s a paid-for vacation,” Nick Blatchford, Under Armour director of grassroots and college basketball, said when the game was announced last year. “That seems to be a pretty fair interpretation. The fact that they’re putting something together, kind of last-minute, tells me they’re trying to play defense.”
Under Armour announced its Elite 24 Game last week, complete with slam dunk and three-point contests set for Aug. 19, but has yet to release its roster for the Aug. 20 game which will be shown live on ESPNU (7:30 p.m.).
Sources told SNY.tv that Trevon Duval, Naz Reid, Jahvon Quinerly, Louis King and Moses Brown are among those invited to the Elite 24 Game. Duval plays for WE-R1, Reid, Quinerly and King all play for the Sports U program and Brown runs with New Heights.
“We are excited to once again bring together the nation’s 24 best high basketball players, while also introducing future talent of the game through our partnership with the Jr. NBA,” said Kris Stone, Sr. Director of Global Sports Marketing Basketball at Under Armour. “The Elite 24 platform has always represented what’s next: the next generation gatekeepers of the game, showcasing their skills and love for competition at the highest level, against the best of the best.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.