• Andrew Jantke

Basketball Australia Prospects Camp. About this camp and the first one; Where are they now?

Updated: Apr 13


PICTURED: NBA Global Academy coaches Robbie McKinlay (Player Development Coach with NBA Global Academy at Centre of Excellence) and Nico Loureio (Player Development Coach with NBA Global Academy at Centre of Excellence) coaching their team at the NCAA Showcase . Source: Basketball NSW Twitter page.

This past few weeks the Centre of Excellence began to release information about the NBA Academy Games & Basketball Australia Prospects Camp.

This innovative idea was the brainchild of CoE Head Coach Adam Caporn a couple of years ago which saw the first NCAA Certified event being run with coaches from around 30 division 1 college programs watching on (Blog on that event here: Basketball Australia's College Prospects Combine ).

With 4 NBA Global Academies joining 50 Australian athletes for the upcoming event the interest already seems higher again amongst college coaches. This interest is despite the event being finalised so late due to the NCAA accreditation only being finalised in the past few weeks.

Any event like this always has some players disappointed when not selected but our guys have shown previously that any setbacks along their journey is no need to hold them back from their bigger goals. As has been shown in the past athletes can earn opportunities in both the national pathways, also abroad, by relentless pursuit of improvement no matter small setbacks along the way. Out of South Australia, we will have a range of younger athletes there, as well as 2 older players whom are also featured athletes on www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com in Jarryd Hoppo and Anyang Garang.

PICTURED: Jarryd Hoppo is a 6'8'' Stretch 4/Wing from South Adelaide Panthers in the South Australian Premier League. The www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athlete also recently wrote a blog for us called; My journey, striving to represent South Australia at National Championships and beyond.

PICTURED: Anyang Garang is a 6'9'' Wing originally from the Central Districts Lions in the Basketball SA district competition and Adelaide Warriors, a South Australian club that competes in Sudanese tournaments. The www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athlete also recently wrote a blog for us called; Journey so far; decisions, constant improvement and rewards about his time in the NBA Global Academy at the Centre of Excellence.

We think that talent in this age group is probably deeper in Australia than it was 2 years ago when the last event took place. That event only included around 32 Aussie athletes. This time with the NBA Global Academies involved too it will be great to also see how the Australian youth talent of 50 athletes compares to kids from regions like Africa, China, Latin America and India. This event will include around 90 athletes in total when you combine the Australian 50 with the NBA Academy's teams.

Because of the NCAA recruiting windows, this event does clash with the July AAU craziness in the United States, so it is always a tough decision for prospects to decide which path to choose in any given year, with pros and cons for each option. We would love to see the either:

- The Australian combine move to the NCCA's April evaluation recruiting period,

- or only be held every 2nd year,

- or secure an NCAA exemption to run it outside of normal US recruiting windows.

That way elite athletes can gain all the benefits of the exposure they can get by playing in July AAU basketball, playing in more tournaments, with even more coaches looking on, against American kids coaches are more familiar with, whilst still taking up the Australian combine. NCAA recruiting windows are designed to fit in with the US High School year (August – June) and to force them onto Australia where our High School year is January to November makes no real sense to us whatsoever. In our opinion the peak bodies from each country that may want to run such events should be able to nominate a period that suits that countries’ High School system, whilst fitting in with NCAA seasons. For Australia, a specifically allowed NCAA evaluation window in August would be similar timing to April in relation to the US High School Calendar, and an ideal time for college coaches to have a look at Aussie talent, augmented by those kids from NBA Global Academies.

One thing is forsure, whilst athletes today can readily get recruited through a combination of game film and college coaches checking with trusted sources, as happened with guys like Ben Carter, Isaac White and Jacob Rigoni it is still also a big advantage if coaches can see the athlete play “with my own eyes” as they often put it.

VIDEO: Video to update everyone on www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com male featured athletes, many of whom were recruited without setting foot on US soil. Playing club basketball, in South Australia Metro teams, in national teams and/or the Centre of Excellence.

For college coaches they DO love the chemistry, toughness, IQ, teamwork and skill set of Aussie prospects and how much more readily they observed these traits at the last combine in comparison with the majority of teams on the AAU circuit. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts on this coming event, after they see how the NBA Global Academies, which will no doubt provide contrasting playing styles, with more participants, including from other parts of the world, we will probably see extra athleticism and length. The college coaches also love how there are less athletes to evaluate and the talent is more concentrated than in the minor rounds of AAU events which often have 1000s of athletes to evaluate, spread amongst many teams.

We thought it to be a very worthwhile exercise to look at a list of athletes in the last BA Elite Prospects Combine and look at where they are now. We have to say we think there will be considerably more division 1 athletes in the next camp, based on volume of athletes alone, and we will break down a where they are now in the coming years after the next camp.

So here we go. Here is where they are now….

PICTURED: The winning team red which included Brent Hank (U at Albany), #1 Kyle Zunic (Winthrop Eagles), #11 Owen Hulland (Hawaii Warriors), #2 Isaac White (Stanford Cardinal), #12 Adam Lulka (U at Albany). Source: Centre of Excellence Facebook page.

PICTURED: Isaac White, featured athlete at www.highperformancehooopsnetwork.com, former Sturt Sabre player, who is about to enter his Sophomore year at Stanford, had the highest scoring first freshman game by a Cardinal in over 40 years in the season opener. This was before scoring 20 pts against North Carolina in his 5th game. He averaged 17 mins per game on the season. He also lead the 2016 BA Prospects combine in scoring. Source: gostanford.com

PICTURED: Former CoE scholarship holder, www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athlete, former Sturt Sabre junior is pictured here playing for South Australia. In 2018 he was MVP of the U20 National Championships. He will begin his freshman year at St Marys this coming season. He was also on Team Gold at the 2016 BA Prospects Combine.

PICTURED: 2016 Team Gold consisting of athletes such as Angus Glover (NBL), Alex Mudronja (St Mary's Gaels), Tom Pupavac (Winthrop Eagles), #10 Jacob Rigoni (Quinnipiac Bobcats), #4 Dragan Elkaz (UC Riverside). Source: Centre of Excellence Facebook page.

PICTURED: www.highperformancehoopsnetwork.com featured athlete Jacob Rigoni had a season to remember for the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Starting in 14 of 33 games, averaging just under 10 ppg Jacob became known as a 3 pt marksman. Shooting almost 50% from the 3 pt line the former Sturt Sabre Junior regularly hit the top 20 list of players for 3 pt %age for all of American college basketball throughout the season. He was also a part of Team Gold in the 2016 BA Prospects Combine.

PICTURED: Team Black included #14 Sam Froling (Creighton),#11 Andrew Ferguson (San Diego), #8 Koen Sapwell (Cal State Monterey Bay), #9 Uche Dibiamaka (UTRGV)

By the numbers.

2016 event

6/32 yet to commit.

16/32 Division 1 commits

4/32 European, NBL pro leagues

2/32 Division 2

4/32 Football, Other

This year’s event

/50 Aussie prospects

/50 Global NBA prospects (exact numbers not known)


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