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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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Monday / June 17.
  • The USA returns from the U19 World Championship in Prague with just their second gold medal since 1991.

    Along the way the Americans faced some tough foreign competition as well, including an 82-68 victory over Serbia in the final.

    Here are one coach and six players who helped themselves at the event:

    USA Coach Billy Donovan: The Florida head man has now won two NCAA championships (2006 and ’07) and gold medals at the U18 and U19 levels. As Andy Katz pointed out, Donovan should now be in line to coach in the FIBA World Basketball Cup in 2018 and with the 2020 Olympic team. When Coach K steps down after the 2016 Olympics, Donovan has done more than enough to prove he can handle the big job. “I feel very, very honored my country asked me to coach this team. I think USA Basketball could have picked a lot of coaches who would have done a wonderful job,” Donovan said.

     

    The United States won gold in the FIBA U19 World Championship for just the second time since 1991.

    Coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan, the Americans beat Serbia, 82-68 in the final in Prague behind 17 points, four rebounds and four blocks from Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell. Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss added 15 points, Duke’s Rasheed Sulaimon had 12 and team captain Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State chipped in with 11.

    Incoming Arizona forward Aaron Gordon was named MVP of the tournament and Chicago Whitney Young senior forward Jahlil Okafor joined him on the all-tournament team.

    Gordon led all USA players with averages of 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He ranked second on the team in blocks (1.0), third in steals (2.0) and fifth in assists (1.9).

    The 6-10 Okafor has now won gold in the U16, U17 and U19 events.

    “This team right here is looking to change that and making a trend of going over there and dominating the 19-and-under,” Smart told SNY.tv before the event in reference to the USA’s struggles in the age category.

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Myck KabongoORLANDO – University of Texas sophomore point guard and Canadian sensation Myck Kabongo went undrafted last month and the reason exactly why is up for some debate.

    No one ever questioned the talent the 6-foot-3, 180-pound native of Toronto, Ontario had, but some felt he could have used some more seasoning in Austin. That, and there is the small matter of Kabongo serving a 23-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits and then lying about it to the NCAA. The suspension was originally for his entire sophomore season, but was reduced to 23 games on Dec. 21.

    Whether or not the suspension had anything to do with his going undrafted, the situation certainly didn’t help Kabongo’s cause.

    “People probably have the wrong perception of me and what happened because the story that’s out there is not the truth,” Kabongo told SNY.tv after his Orlando Summer League debut with the Miami Heat on Monday afternoon in a 69-59 loss to the Utah Jazz.

    “No one really knows the story unless I say it and I don’t think it’s important because the people that were involved are the people that know the story. They know what it is. What the media thinks, I’m not really concerned with that. The people that know me know what kind of person I am. That’s behind me and I’m just concerned with getting better.”

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Moe Harkless St. John'sORLANDO – When former St. John’s star Moe Harkless declared for the NBA Draft following Big East Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, that decision was met with skepticism as to whether or not the New York City native was ready to make that jump after just 32 collegiate games with the Red Storm.

    After a solid, promising rookie campaign with the Orlando Magic last season, Harkless does not regret his decision to forego his final three years of collegiate eligibility, but at least a little part of him wonders what may have been this spring had he stayed in school one more year.

    “There’s always pros and cons of coming out,” Harkless told SNY.tv at the Orlando Summer League on Sunday afternoon. “I could’ve come out this year and probably been a top-5 pick or something like that, but I’m happy with my decision.”

    Rashad ArmstrongRashed Anthony, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward from Flora MacDonald Academy (N.C.), has signed scholarship papers with Seton Hall.

    “I chose Seton Hall because they have a very good coaching staff and a good support system,” Anthony told SNY.tv by phone Sunday.

    According to Flora MacDonald Coach Darrick Bond, Anthony is “on campus today and starts summer school [Monday].  He went on his official visit last weekend.”

    Bond, who also coached Rutgers guard Jerome Seagears, said Anthony also had offers from Oklahoma, Auburn and St. Bonaventure.

    Anthony averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks last season on a team that went 24-10. During his junior year, Flora McDonald won the state championship.

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    MCW DraftORLANDO –  At some point next season, once Nerlens Noel is all the way back from a torn left ACL, he and new Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams will team up in the City of Brotherly Love.

    Carter-Williams isn’t just happy to be playing with an athletic, defensive-minded power forward, but also the kid he deems his best friend.

    Carter-Williams and Noel are both Boston natives and both played their AAU ball for BABC. The two have spoken since the NBA Draft on June 27, but not about basketball.

    “I was just wondering how he was doing with his knee, but we didn’t talk about anything too long-term because nothing is really definite right now,” Carter-Williams said after he scored 26 point to go along with eight assists, seven rebounds and nine turnovers in the Sixers’ 88-80 loss to the Houston Rockets at the Orlando Summer League. “I spoke to him, but not much about basketball. He’s one of my best friends, so we just talked about everything. It’ll be a great experience for me. I think we’ll work together great and it’s going to be dream come true.”

    Louisville and Indiana are among the schools that have recently reached out to 2014 Memphis forward LeRon Black, he told the Louisville Courier-Journal at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas.

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino called the 6-foot-7 forward Thursday before he left for LeBron and indicated he is looking for someone to play power forward with Chane Behanan possibly heading to the NBA after next season.

    “I didn’t know who it was when I looked at my phone, and (the caller ID) said Kentucky,” said Black, the former Baylor commit. “So I said, ‘I guess I’m going to answer it.’ He said, ‘Hello, this is Rick Pitino.’ I said, ‘Woo.’ It kind of shocked me. I was excited about it, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity.”

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