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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If all works out, Dexter Strickland will visit both Senegal and Argentina this summer while playing with some of the best youth basketball players in the world.
Strickland, a 6-foot-3 junior guard from St. Patrick of Elizabeth (N.J.), is slated to leave Tuesday for Dakar, Senegal with the adidas Nations program.
Next month he could be selected to go to Formosa, Argentina with the U.S. U18 team for the FIBA U18 Championships.
“It will be a big experience for me to get out of the country, see different countries and play people from all over the world,” the North Carolina-bound Strickland said Thursday.
Strickland had to get a slew of shots to prepare for the trip to Africa, and his arm is only now getting back to normal.
“I had two needles at the same time in both of my arms,” he said. “I had a bunch of needles so my arms were sore the next day.”
Strickland’s arm isn’t the only thing that’s sore.
He pulled his hamstring last weekend at the Rutgers Camp, and will likely miss the adidas Nations practice this weekend in Los Angeles as a result.
“I’m not going to be able to attend,” he said. “I will be going to Africa.”
Dexter has strong family support from his mother and father, as well as uncles and cousins. He said his father, Dexter Sr., may try to make the trip to Argentina, if Dexter is fortunate enough to make the team.
After returning from Africa, Strickland will attend the Steve Nash Nike Skills Academy in Union, N.J. in late June, before heading to Washington, D.C. for the U18 tryouts.
Other area players trying out for the 18 team include Brooklyn Lincoln guard Lance Stephenson; St. Anthony of Jersey City wing Dominic Cheek; Rice guard Kemba Walker, who committed to UConn; and Virginia-bound guard Sylven Landesberg of Queens Holy Cross.
Stephenson is also slated to attend Steve Nash, but Strickland said Stephenson would likely miss the Los Angeles and Africa stops of adidas Nations.
“He has final exams in his school,” Strickland said. “I asked him (if he was going) and he said he didn’t know yet.”
But the duo will team up in in Washington, looking to play for their country.
“I give him the ball and let him do this thing,” Strickland said. “It’s just exciting to watch us play together.”
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.