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2003 Global Games Preview

June 28, 2003 Columns No Comments

2003 Global Games Preview

by Jed Tai

Now in its fourth year, the Global Games – the preeminent international
basketball tournament played in the United States – will be held once again
held this year in Dallas, TX from June 29 to July 5. Featuring teams from all
over the globe, the event showcases some of the top young international players
aged 21 and under in a full week of intense competition.

“Coming on the heels of the 2003 NBA draft where several Global Games
alums such as Darko Milicic (Yugoslavia), Chris Bosh (Global Games 2002 MVP),
Luke Ridnour (All-Global 2000), Malick Badiane (Africa Select 2002) were
selected, we are very excited about the talent in this year’s tournament,” said
Michael Sorrell, executive director of the Global Games. “We have added
Coca-Cola as the title sponsor and we continue on our march to making the
Global Games the #1 junior event in the world. This is our strongest field to
date with all three of the former champions competing.”

The talent that has participated in past Global Games has been nothing
short of spectacular. Last
year alone featured two of the top four picks in this year’s NBA Draft in Darko
Milicic (Serbia/Montenegro) and Chris Bosh (Georgia Tech), and three conference
freshmen of the year in Daniel Horton (Michigan), Ike Diogu (Arizona State),
and Antoine Wright (Texas A&M). This year’s field figures to be no different,
as teams from Brazil, Yugoslavia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Ukraine,
Africa, and Scandinavia will bring their top young players to make the trip to
Moody Coliseum on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

Joining the international teams will be two teams from the United
States – one sponsored by USA Basketball, the other the yearly sponsored entry
by the Global Games, the Select Team. Both squads will be filled with the some
of the elite players from today’s collegiate and high school ranks.

USA Basketball’s participation will serve as the training ground for
Team USA’s entry in the Junior World Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece. 18
players will be on Team USA’s roster, including Global Games veterans Horton
(Michigan) and De’Angelo Alexander (Oklahoma). Other notables on the team
include current collegians such as J.J. Redick (Duke), Deron Williams
(Illinois), and Dee Brown (Illinois), incoming collegians such as Mohamed
Abukar (Florida) and Mustafa Shakur (Arizona), and Class of 2004 high school
seniors such as Brian Johnson (Bishop O’Connell HS in Virginia) and David
Burgess (Woodbridge HS in California). The team will be pared down to 12
players after the event. This will the first time that Team USA will be
actually competing in the Global Games – in 2001, the World Championships for
Young Men team played in a pair of exhibition games during the event, but did
not play in the actual tournament.

While Team USA’s entry figures to be the favorite in the tournament,
the Global Games Select Team will try to make their best case for the Gold
Medal with a solid roster of their own. Mainly built from the rich talent base
in the state of Texas, the roster also features some nationally ranked players
from outside the state as well. Some of the top players expected to make an
impact for the Global Games Select squad are incoming college freshmen J.R.
Giddens (Kansas), Ronnie Brewer (Arkansas), and Dez Willingham (Kansas State),
as well as two of the state’s top Class of 2004 high school seniors in
Texas-commit LeMarcus Aldridge (Seagoville HS) and uncommitted Jeremis Smith
(Dunbar HS in Ft. Worth).

Despite their youth and relative lack of size compared to all of the
other teams in the field, Sorrell – who
is responsible for putting together the Select team – thinks that the squad
will hold their own.

“This is perhaps the most athletic team we have ever assembled,” said
Sorrell. “It has been constructed to force the foreign teams to play at a much
faster pace than they might be comfortable. There will be very few, if any,
teams that will be able to run with this roster.”

This year’s games are scheduled as follows:

Sunday, June 29

7:00 pm Puerto Rico vs. Scandinavia

9:00 pm Yugoslavia vs. Brazil

Monday, June 30

2:00 pm Canada vs. Africa

4:00 pm Ukraine vs. Scandinavia

6:00 pm Global Games Select vs. Puerto Rico

8:00 pm USA vs. Lithuania

Tuesday, July 1

12:00 pm Ukraine vs. Brazil

2:00 pm Canada vs. Scandinavia

4:00 pm Lithuania vs. Africa

6:00 pm Yugoslavia vs. Puerto Rico

8:00 pm Global Games Select vs. USA

Wednesday, July 2

2:00 pm Lithuania vs. Canada

4:00 pm Yugoslavia vs. Ukraine

6:00 pm Global Games Select vs. Brazil

8:00 pm USA vs. Africa

Thursday, July 3

12:00 pm Lithuania vs. Ukraine

2:00 pm Africa vs. Scandinavia

4:00 pm Brazil vs. Puerto Rico

6:00 pm Global Games Select vs. Yugoslavia

8:00 pm USA vs. Canada

Friday, July 4

10:00 am – 1:00 pm Coca-Cola Global Games Skills Competition

Saturday, July 5

12:00 pm Medal Round Game

2:00 pm Medal Round Game

4:00 pm Medal Round Game

6:00 pm Bronze Medal Game

8:00 pm Gold Medal Game

Tickets for the Global Games can be purchased online or
at the gate. Full event passes are $35.00 ($15.00 for youth) and Single Day
passes are $10.00 ($5.00 for youth).

You can follow all the action from this year’s Global Games at www.globalgamesbasketball.com.


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