UPDATE: To kick off the Nike Global Challenge, the Ballers Network will be sponsoring an open run at Liberty High School starting at 11:30 am Friday for anyone who thinks they have the game to go up against some of the best pro, college and high school players from around the northwest.
There's been a lot of discussion lately regarding the United States' place in the international basketball scene. With the start of the Beijing games just a few days away we'll soon find out if the USA, once the class of basketball the world over, can reclaim the stature befitting the country that invented the game.
Most of us don't have the means or desire to travel to China to see the "Redeem Team's" attempt at gold, but starting Friday, there'll be plenty of international basketball to watch right in our own backyard. The Nike Global Challenge, an eight team, 12 game U-19 tournament pitting three USA teams (rosters here, here and here) against squads from Canada, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Senegal and Serbia is set to take place starting August 8th at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. It's yet another chance to see the best and brightest basketballers from around the world before they get a crack at the NBA.
The Nike Global Challenge, though a standalone tournament, is actually the culmination of a host of other events. Nike holds skills camps throughout the year, with the best performers from those clinics moving on to the LeBron James Skills Academy. Out of the 80 high school players in attendance at the LJSA, 30 are chosen to participate on behalf of the United States at the Global Challenge. It's a fierce gauntlet, one that is meant to aid in the development of Team USA's next generation.
That next generation also includes two PIL products. Mike Moser, a talented wing out out of Grant High School and Terrance Jones from Jefferson High have both been selected to represent Portland and the United States in the Global Challenge.
So even though you probably won't be able to see Team USA's quest to regain their pride and the gold medal in person, you can see the future of USA Basketball right here in Oregon. Tickets are still available at the Liberty High School box office.