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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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Wednesday / December 13.
  • Duke-bound Barrett, Kansas signee Dotson excel in first games in China

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    Duke signee R.J. Barrett and Kansas-bound Devon Dotson both excelled during their first games with their high school teams in China.

    The 6-foot-6 Barrett, who signed with Duke last month, went for 36 points — 33 in the first half — in Montverde Academy’s 109-33 rout of Zhongguancun High School. Coached by legendary coach Kevin Boyle, Monteverde is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25 Computer boys basketball rankings.

    Barrett then added 38 points in Montverde’s second game, a 97-88 win over CBA Junior team Shougang in which Gonzaga-bound forward Filip Petrusev added 19 points.

    The 6-2 Dotson, who committed to Kansas in October, scored 23 points in Providence Day’s loss to the Bayi Rockets, the same organization that got into a brawl with Georgetown in 2011.

    In another game, Chaminade (CA) beat Beijing #4, 66-59

    The three American schools are playing in a high-profile international tournament in China, as I wrote in this recent New York Times story.

    The American teams are in China in the wake of UCLA’s trip last month where three players, including LiAngelo Ball, were arrested for shoplifting. Lavar Ball has since pulled LiAngelo from UCLA, while the other two players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, remain suspended indefinitely.

    “We are truly making our best impression with all of the people here and we are focused on giving the best impression of American basketball players,” Kelly Boyle, Kevin’s wife, told ZAGSBLOG by text from China.

    “The boys have toured the major sites (Great Wall), (Forbidden City) and then visited high schools to engage with the students. They have worked with Chinese students making dumplings, learning King Fu, and learning to write in Chinese which they all have said they loved. Today they take pottery classes and Chinese music classes .

    As for food, the Americans are said to be looking for pizza and other American dishes.

    “The boys have eaten all kinds of different dishes,” she said.

    They also got to meet Spider-Man creator Stan Lee.

    “We’ve always looked at this as a friendship opportunity to say, ‘Look, basketball and sports are something that speak to everybody in the world,’ ” Shane Duffy, a former executive in the N.B.A.’s Los Angeles office, told the Times.

    But now, he added, “we shine obviously a brighter light on that to say: ‘Look, this is real. The government’s involved, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Sports, everybody is looking at this event and taking notice, so you guys represent more than just your high school. You represent the country.”

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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.