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August 5, 2010

Global hoops challenge starts Friday

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The three-day Nike Global Challenge starts this Friday in Hillsboro, Ore. Rivalshigh will have daily reports from the event.

Some of the best high school basketball players in the nation have one last chance to write a dramatic ending to their, "What I did on my summer vacation" essays as the three-day Nike Global Challenge kicks off Friday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Ore., just a wildly overthrown outlet pass away from Nike's sprawling headquarters in Beaverton.

The eight-team all-star gathering - which counts 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and NBA lottery picks John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Monroe among its alumni - is the final major offseason hoops tournament of the summer and the grand finale of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League series that began in April.

More than 30 of the nation's best homegrown players - most tapped as the top stars from the Lebron James Skills Academy held in early July - will form four USA teams (West, Midwest, South and East). They will go sneaker-to-sneaker with some of the top international ballers from Asia/Australia, Canada, Brazil and France.

The competition will feature dozens of players ranked in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2011, including top undeclared prospects such as No. 3 Austin Rivers, No. 8 Anthony Davis and No. 9 Rakeem Christmas along with blue-chip verbal commitments such as No. 6 Bradley Beal (Florida), No. 7 James McAdoo (North Carolina) and No. 14 Wayne Blackshear (Louisville).

The international talent ranges (literally, if not figuratively) from Brazilian point guard Raul Neto to 7-foot-4 Canadian skyscraper Sim Bhullar with dual-citizenship triple threats such as No. 22 Kyle Wiltjer (playing for Canada) and No. 106 Bobby Parks Jr. (suiting up for the "All-Asia" team) in between.

Some of the top incoming juniors will also be featured with Class of 2012 standouts No. 5 Brandon Ashley and No. 9 Khem Birch leading the way while underclassman phenoms Nigel Williams-Goss (Class of 2013) and Andrew Wiggins (Class of 2014) also battle for a share of the spotlight.

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