USA hoops officially has some comp.
The recent surge of Canadian basketball talent has the basketball world buzzing and beginning to wonder if the USA’s years as the lone dominant force in international play is numbered. Holding the torch obviously on the professional end is Andrew Wiggins, the 6’8 wing who can jump out the gym for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Perhaps most intriguing though, is the multitude of young Canadian talents taking over the high school basketball scene. Labeled as possibly the greatest Canadian prospect ever, Rowan Barrett Jr, a 6’7 scoring machine, is leading the new age Canada movement. Barrett can literally wake up out the bed have 20 points against anyone, with his efficient left handed game.
The number one player in class of 2019 proved time and time again why he is regarded as so, most recently against team USA in the FIBA Men’s U19 World Cup. The US predictably steam-rolled the competition until they were haunted by a talented Canadian team in the quarter finals led by Barrett. The Stars and Stripes had no answer for Barrett, as he dominated to the tune of 38 points on USA’s head. Canada upset the US team and went on to win the whole thing, as Barrett was named the MVP of the tournament, with averages of 22 points a game, 8 boards and dishing around 5 assist. The only downer on RJ is the fact that the basketball world has to wait a few years to see him on the pro level. The scariest part though, is that he’s not the only elite talent way up north.
Wiggington is another notable Canadian star who was Barret’s backcourt teammate during the U19 World Cup. Wigginton is a 6’2 guard who is a born scorer and willing passer. The product of the coveted Oak Hill academy averaged 12 points and 7 boards during this tournament wrapping up his summer activities before he heads to Iowa State to play for head coach Steve Prohm.
Shittu is a name that you’re probably unfamiliar with, but the 2018 big is ranked top 10 in his class. Shittu dominated the EYBL circuit this year, leading CIA Bounce to a Peach Jam birth. He has over 12 division 1 scholarship offers, and with his recent MVP performance at the NBA top 100 camp that total is set to increase. At about 6’10 and a hefty 225 pounds Simi’s athletisicm and mobility allows him to put up 20 and 10 on a rather consistent basis. Keep an eye on #11 for the CIA Bounce.
The separation is still there between Canada and the US, but it’s closing faster every year. Sleeping on the boys up north won’t end well. Just ask the USA under 19 squad.