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.
Nike, Adidas teams join forces for Kentucky-style AAU combine
In a day and age when the Sneaker Wars are still going strong in grassroots — and professional — basketball, one Nike-sponsored team and one adidas-sponsored team came together on Sunday for the betterment of the all the kids involved.
The Nike-sponsored PSA Cardinals and the Adidas-sponsored NY Jayhawks ran a Kentucky-style combine that attracted nearly 60 Division 1 programs to the Westtown (PA) School.
“I thought the collaborative effort of both programs was really important for the kids because we have so much talent from the 17 all the way down to the 15U level,” said Jay David, director of the Jayhawks. “The sneaker affiliation didn’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things. There are sneaker [companies] and they are competing but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete and be gentlemen and try to come together for something positive like we did [Sunday].”
The teams feature several elite prospects, including Cole Anthony, Jake Forrester and Isaiah Mucius of the PSA Cardinals and Frankie Policelli, Samba Diallo, Donatas Kupsas and Majur Majak of the Jayhawks.
Among the colleges on hand were Syracuse, Louisville, Wake Forest, Miami, Xavier, UConn, Virginia, Iowa, South Carolina, Indiana, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Temple, George Washington and Rhode Island.
One coach said the event was “very well organized” and the coaches “were really pushing these kids.”
Now that the combine is over, both programs will head play on their respective circuits, the Jayhawks at the Adidas Summer Championship in Las Vegas and the Cardinals at the Sunflower Invitational and Jayhawk Finale in Missouri.
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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 whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.