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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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Friday / July 20.
  • Uncommitted R.J. Barrett, Kansas-bound Devon Dotson will highlight American high school trip to China

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    Uncommitted senior guard R.J. Barrett of Montverde (FL) Academy and Kansas-bound point guard Devon Dotson of Providence Day (N.C.) highlight a group of American high school players who will travel to China to compete next month in the US/China World Basketball Spectacular.

    Montverde Academy and Providence Day will be joined by a third American team, Chaminade (CA) College Prepatory Academy. They will play in a round robin format against several Chinese teams Dec. 6-9 at the Olympic Training Center. A specific game schedule has yet to be released.

    The trip was first reported by the Charlotte Observer and confirmed by multiple sources, who are not yet authorized to speak publicly because the event hasn’t been officially announced by the event’s sponsor, Camsing Global, which is covering costs for the American teams.

    As part of the overall trip which runs Dec. 2-21, the teams will take in cultural events at Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

    Montverde figures to be the preseason No. 1 team in America in several high school polls as this may be the best high school team legendary coach Kevin Boyle has ever coached. The team features Barrett, the 6-foot-7 Canadian star, who is set to announce Nov. 10 between Duke, Kentucky and Oregon and is projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

    Monteverde also has senior guards Andrew Nembhard (Florida) and Mike DeVoe (Georgia Tech), senior forwards Filip Petrusev (Gonzaga) Makhel and Makhi Mitchell (Maryland) and senior big man Kevin Zhang, who is Chinese and has yet to pick a school.

    The 6-2 Dotson of Providence Day committed to Kansas last month.

    These players won’t be the first American high school stars to visit or play in China.

    Boyle took Montverde there in 2012.

    Mohamed Bamba, the 7-foot Texas freshman who is a projected lottery pick in 2018, also went on a school-sponsored trip last spring.

    Over 300 million Chinese people play basketball and another 300 million have access to NBA games that are televised daily.

    “The popularity of the NBA in China is at an all-time high,” NBA China CEO David Shoemaker said in March when the league announced several preseason games for China in October.

    Fourteen NBA teams have played 24 games in Greater China since 2004, in Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei.

    On the college level, UCLA and Georgia Tech will play in the Pac-12 China Game on Nov. 10 in Shanghai. Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner and his team were slated to leave Friday.

    “Georgia Tech has a campus in China, so it’s a great opportunity” Pastner said on The 4 Quarters Podcast.

    “For us the opportunities to experience some different things, that none of us, including myself, would have an opportunity if it wasn’t for basketball.”

    He added: “Basketball is a global game and the facts are, for us and UCLA it’s such a great chance to expose your brand to a whole new section of the world in a sense.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.