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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.
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Thursday / October 19.
  • Young Canadian Stars Barrett, Nembhard, Shittu Will Be On Display on NBA All-Star Weekend

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    Of the 41 boys selected for this weekend’s Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp in New Orleans, seven are Canadians.

    No other nation has more than three.

    Canada’s impressive presence on All-Star weekend is further evidence that it is an ascendant nation in the world of basketball.

    “The fact that there are seven athletes from Canada represented is pretty special,” said Rowan Barrett, the head of Canada Basketball. “Five of these athletes took part in our country’s first ever Junior Academy starting in 2012 and the other two have been a part of our provincial training programs in addition to their AAU programs. Six of the seven have been on our U16/17 National team.”

    The Canadian group includes R.J. Barrett, Rowan’s son and the No. 1 player in the Class of 2019, according to ESPN, Simi Shittu, Luguentz Dort, Andrew Nembhard, Noah Kirkwood, Emmanuel Akot and Ignas Bradzeikis.

    NBA and FIBA players and coaches, including Cheick Diallo (New Orleans Pelicans; Mali), Wayne Ellington (Miami Heat; U.S.), Justin Holiday (New York Knicks; U.S.), Meyers Leonard (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.), Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks; South Sudan; BWB Americas 2015/BWB Global 2016) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo), will coach the top high school age campers from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.

    Some of these young Canadian guys figure to be part of the Canadian Senior National Team in 2020 or 2024, when Canada hopes to challenge for a medal. The Canadians already feature players like Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Ennis, Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson.

    “Now with all these players that have come through, I think we’re in strong position to [be among the elite by 2020],” Rowan Barrett said on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “We feel if we can get them all on the floor at the same time, with strong coaching in the coaching box, the sky’s the limit for us in 2020.”

    On the recruiting front, Barrett, Nembhard, Dort and Shittu are all being recruited at the highest levels.

    “It’s clear that there are a few schools in Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Michigan, USC, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Villanova, there have been a number of schools,” Rowan Barrett said of his son. “They key for us right now is letting him continue to focus on getting better as a player and that’s been a real focus for us. Every three months we want to be seeing marked improvement with him, as well as in the classroom, really getting ahead of his coursework. He’s hit the honor roll now and really getting ahead of that and giving himself all the options for what he wants to be able to do academically.

    “We believe after this spring and summer we’ll open it up and start to look seriously at some of these schools and start to make some determinations about shortening the list and starting to make visits and doing that.”

    The 6-3 Nembhard, a sophomore who shares the backcourt at Montverde (FL) Academy with Barrett, holds offers from the likes of Stanford, Villanova, Florida, USC, Virginia Tech and Missouri.

    The 6-9 Shittu, a junior at Vermont Academy, has been hearing from Arizona, UCLA, Louisville, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Cal, Providence, UConn, Memphis, Kansas, Oregon and Michigan, while Notre Dame was in to see him this week.

    Meantime, Louisville, Baylor, Florida, Oregon, UNLV and St. John’s are among those involved for the 6-3 Dort, a highly regarded point guard out of the Conrad (FL) Academy.

     

    BOYS ROSTER:

    Last Name

    First Name

    Country

    De Sousa

    Silvio

    Angola

    Buiamba

    Glofate

    Angola

    Caffaro

    Francisco

    Argentina

    Lopez

    Lautaro Tomás

    Argentina

    Froling

    Samson

    Australia

    Epperson

    Jacob

    Australia

    Dalton

    Callum

    Australia

    Tchamwa Tchatchoua

    Jonathan

    Cameroon

    Barrett

    R.J.

    Canada

    Shittu

    Simi

    Canada

    Dort

    Luguentz

    Canada

    Kirkwood

    Noah

    Canada

    Akot

    Emmanuel

    Canada

    Brazdeikis

    Ignas

    Canada

    Nembhard

    Andrew

    Canada

    Zhang

    Kevin

    China

    Wang

    Junjie

    China

    Sun

    Haofeng

    China

    Mwamba

    Patrick

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Raafat

    Tarek

    Egypt

    Waxlax

    Ricky

    Finland

    Mamukelashvili

    Sandro

    Georgia

    Bonga

    Isaac

    Germany

    Herkenhoff

    Philipp

    Germany

    Verma

    Aashay

    India

    Doumbia

    Souleymane

    Ivory Coast

    Velicka

    Arnas

    Lithuania

    Coulibaly

    Abdoul Karim

    Mali

    Keita

    Blaise

    Mali

    Sissoko

    Moulaye Mamadou

    Mali

    Samuel

    Taane

    New Zealand

    Clinton

    Quinn

    New Zealand

    Bassey

    Charles

    Nigeria

    Sjolund

    Kristian

    Norway

    Faye

    Cheikh

    Senegal

    Marjanovic

    Andrija

    Serbia

    Koprivica

    Balsa

    Serbia

    Yang

    Jae-Min

    South Korea

    Martinez

    Sergi

    Spain

    Brewer

    Remy

    Trinidad

    Marnaoui

    Oussama

    Tunisia

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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.