Every day seems to bring a new honor or award.
On Monday, the 7-foot-1 big man from St. Joe’s-Metuchen was named to the 10-member World Select Team for the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit where he will represent the Dominican Republic. The 17th annual Nike Hoop Summit will take place at 4 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, April 12 at the Moda Center, in Portland, Ore.
Among those joining Towns on the roster are fellow Kentucky commit Trey Lyles (Canada), SMU pledge Emmanuel Mudiay (Congo), Florida signee Brandone Francis (Dominican Republic) and uncommitted 2016 point guard Jamal Murray (Canada), who has been compared to Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis.
Last week, Towns and his teammates won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title and he was named Gatorade National Player of the Year. He will also play in the McDonald’s All-American Game Wednesday in Chicago and the Jordan Brand Classic April 18 in Brooklyn.
Towns will be one of the most experienced players at the Nike Hoop Summit thanks to an international career that has seen him play for the Dominican Republic in the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament at the age of 16. Towns’ country finished fourth in the competition, just missing out on a place in the London Olympic Games by one spot.
The World Team will be seeking to record an unprecedented third straight victory in the series after beating the USA in 2012 (84-75) and in 2013 (112-98) in front of a crowd of 6,265 and a national television audience
The World Team at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit will be led by fourth-year coach Roy Rana (Canada), who currently has a 2-1 record in the series and, in 2013, became the first coach in Hoop Summit history to lead his team to back-to-back victories. Rana is an eight-year veteran of Canadian national team basketball and was appointed head coach of Canada’s Junior National Team in 2012, leading them to bronze medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Brazil and sixth place in last summer’s U19 World Championship in Prague. Rana led Canada to bronze at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany in 2010, the latest in a long list of international honors, which also includes two bronze medals and three silvers with Canada at the Nike Global Challenge from 2006-12.
“I am once again honored and humbled to coach the top international prospects on the planet,” Rana said. “Coaching the World Team in the Nike Hoop Summit holds a special place in my coaching life because of its powerful life changing impact on those that are privileged enough to be part of the most important global youth basketball event.”
As of January 2014, 19 former World team members were active in the NBA, including: Andrea Bargnani (New York Knicks); Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers); Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers); Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Bobcats); Omri Casspi (Houston Rockets); Evan Fournier (Denver Nuggets); Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder); Cory Joseph (San Antonio Spurs); Enes Kanter (Utah Jazz); Sergey Karasev (Cavaliers); Patrick Mills (San Antonio Spurs); Donatas Motiejunas (Rockets); Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks); Tony Parker (Spurs); Vladimir Radmanovic (Atlanta Hawks); Luis Scola (Indiana Pacers); Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards); Dennis Schröder (Hawks); and Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers).
Release/Photo: USA Basketball