By Sean Moran
Day Two of the Nike Global Challenge started with a blowout but also featured two games involving USA teams that came down to the wire.
Game of the Day: USA South 121 Africa 116 (OT)
In an intense game that went back and forth throughout the second half all came down to free throws in regulation. After a crazy last 10 seconds the ball ended up with future Providence big man Alex Owens under the basket. Going up for a lay-up as time expired, Owens was fouled and sent to the line with no time on the clock. One free throw would win the game, but Owens missed both and the exciting game continued in a five minute overtime period.
For Africa, lead guard Ehab Amin got things started with back to back three’s, but Antonio Blakeney’s pull-up game was too much and the USA pulled away for a five point win.
Top Five Performers:
Ted Kapita, 6’9”, C, Pan Africa, 2015 – 36 points, 16 rebounds, 15-22 FG’s, 6-9 FT’s
It was quite the performance for one of the fastest rising big men in the country. Sporting close to a 7’3” wing span and a Dwight Howard-esque upper body, Kapita was on top of his game throughout the long affair. Kapita can run the floor and bang down low. He scored in a variety of ways including alley-oops off the pick and roll, behind the back moves on the break, and a 15 foot jump shot. Kapita’s size gave the USA team fits all day.
Kapita will move this season from Florida Air Academy to Huntington (WV) Prep. With one of the fastest rising stock in the Class of 2015, Kapita’s recruiting will continue to move to the highest levels of the college game.
Ehab Amin, 6’4”, G, Pan Africa, 2014 – 28 points, 6 assists, 10 steals, 10-23 FG’s, 5-13 3PT
Amin ran the Pan Africa with a sense of confidence and poise yesterday. He started the game off attacking the USA team and established the fact that his team was not going to back down. Amin shot well from behind the arc including back to back three’s in overtime before running out of steam at the very end. He was strong in the pick and roll and enjoyed lobbing the ball up to a variety of high flyers on the African team. While he was the second leading scorer he also exerted effort on the defensive end and finished with 10 steals. He put ball-pressure on the USA guards and was aggressive in the passing lanes.
Amin is scheduled to start play at Texas Corpus Christi in a few weeks; however if any big name schools come calling with an offer he would most likely jump at the chance to test his skills. He was hurt for the majority of his prep year in Wisconsin and believes he can play at a high level. If his first game in the Global Challenge was any indication he certainly can.
Antonio Blakeney, 6’4”, SG, USA South, 2015 – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 10-19 FG’s
Blakeney is one of the top shooting guards in the country and the Florida native started slowly in his first game. After taking some time to get warmed up and facing a halftime deficit, Blakeney showed why he is now a five-star player. He hit a three from the corner and exploded down the lane for a high flying two hand dunk. Throughout the second half and overtime, the USA team turned to Blakeney for a bucket and he responded with numerous one or two dribble pull-up jump shots. In the winter his baskets came primarily from outside the arc and around the basket, but now with a mid-range game he has become extremely tough to stop.
Blakeney has recently cut his college list to a final seven schools of Florida State, Louisville, Missouri, Oregon, LSU, Kentucky and USC.
Jaylen Brown, 6’7”, SF, USA South, 2015 – 22 points, 14 rebounds, 7-12 FG’s, 2-3 3PT
Just like Blakeney, Brown was able to step up his game in the second half. As Scout’s new No. 1 player in the class of 2015, Brown showed why with his powerful drives to the basket and timely outside shooting. He crashed the boards and also registered three assists. On the downside, Brown at times tried to do too much or got himself in trouble around the basket and also turned the ball over nine times.
Malachi Richardson, 6’6”, G/F, USA East, 2015 – 21 points, 4 rebounds, 5-7 3PT
In a blowout win over China in the day’s first game, the future Syracuse wing was on fire from deep. Richardson hit five out of seven three’s and finished with 21 points. He hit three’s from both wings and has deep range on his outside shot. Richardson gets a lot of backspin on his shot similar to Gilbert Arenas many years ago.
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