August is often considered the doldrums of the sports calendar, but don't tell that to the best high school and prep basketball players from around the world. The end of summer is big month for them, and the 2014 Adidas Nations Global is a big reason why.
The Adidas Nations Global takes the best 18-and-under players from around the world and brings them together in sunny Southern California. Here they showcase their talent over the course of a four-day tournament.
They also learn how to become better basketball players, both on and off the court, under the tutelage of current and former NBA players as well as world-class trainers and coaches, per the tournament's official website.
High-profile players such as Derrick Rose, Kevin Love and Paul George have all taken part in the Adidas Nations tournaments in years past.
Here is a primer on all of the necessary info you will need to keep tabs on the action.
2014 Adidas Nations Global
Dates: August 1–4
Where: Long Beach, California and Garden Grove, California
TV: ESPNU (August 4)
Here is the full schedule of games for the tournament.
|Aug. 1||4:30 p.m.||Team Howard vs. Canada (HOW 84-61 CAN)|
|4:30 p.m.||Team Lillard vs. Africa (LIL 81-52 AFR)|
|4:30 p.m.||Latin America vs. Asia Pacific (ASP 82-54 LAA)|
|4:30 p.m.||Team Wall vs. Europe (WAL 74-62 EUR)|
|Aug. 2||10:15 a.m.||Team Rose vs. Europe|
|10:15 a.m.||Team Wall vs. Latin America|
|10:15 a.m.||Team Howard vs. Africa|
|10:15 a.m.||Team Lillard vs. Canada|
|7:30 p.m.||Team Rose vs. Latin America|
|7:30 p.m.||Africa vs. Canada|
|7:30 p.m.||Team Howard vs. Asia Pacific|
|7:30 p.m.||Team Wall vs. Europe|
|Aug. 3||10:15 a.m.||Team Rose vs. Team Wall|
|10:15 a.m.||Europe vs. Latin America|
|10:15 a.m.||Asia Pacific vs. Canada|
|10:15 a.m.||Team Howard vs. Team Lillard|
|7:30 p.m.||Seed 1A vs. Seed 2B|
|7:30 p.m.||Seed 1B vs. Seed 2A|
|7:30 p.m.||Seed 3A vs. Seed 4B|
|7:30 p.m.||Seed 3B vs. Seed 4A|
|Aug. 4||4 p.m.||Third-Place Game|
|6 p.m.||Championship Game|
The rosters for the nine teams participating in this year's edition of the showcase can be found here.
Not surprisingly, the USA rosters tend to dominate this tournament. In fact, the tournament is such a boon to the domestic players that the classes of 2015 and 2016 are split into separate squads. This year, the class of 2015 will fill out the rosters for Team Rose and Team Howard, while 2016 players suit up for Team Lillard and Team Wall.
However, there have been some notable performances from teams abroad in the past. Team Africa won third place at this competition in 2013, while Australia took fourth in 2012.
Cheickna Dembele, a 6'9" center from Mali, returns this year to play for Team Africa. He will look to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in this tournament. In last year's third-place game, he went 0-of-4 from the field with seven rebounds and three personal fouls, per AdidasNations.com.
Here are some highlights from last year's event for those who wish to get a feel for the exuberant play taking place in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Internet sensation Thon Maker is also participating in the tournament and will lead Team Lillard. The lanky 7-footer is regarded as a true roundball phenom, combining his height and length with an ability to hit jumpers from outside and handle the ball with the grace and dexterity of a true wing player.
The latest intrigue surrounding Maker is whether or not he will try to hasten his arrival in the college ranks by joining the class of 2015 rather than 2016.
"It's still up in the air," said Maker, via CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello. "But it's leaning toward staying [in 2016] a little bit."
Jaylen Brown, ranked as the No. 2 player in the nation by 247Sports.com, will look to dazzle the coaches and media in attendance with his superb all-around game. Brown regards himself as one of the best players in the nation, if not the best.
"I feel like I've got a lot to work on still, but in my eyes, there's no one better (than me)," Brown said earlier in July, via Steve Jones of The Courier-Journal. "There's a lot of good guys that I give a lot of respect to, but I still don't feel like they can do what I can do on the floor."
Brown will pair up with point guard Jalen Adams, another high-profile recruit who recently committed to UConn, per David Borges of the New Haven Register.
This unbelievable collection of talent is one of the truly great showcases for prep hoops. The inclusion of five teams representing various regions around the globe speaks to the growing passion developing for basketball abroad.