Our favorite international basketball event that takes place in the United States, Adidas Nations, was played in early August at the Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, Calif. The championships were played at Cerritos Junior College on August 3rd and broadcast live on ESPNU.
One of the most impressive performances was the third place finish from Team Africa (4-2). The squad, coached by Babacar Sy, featured top prospects 6-5 Hamadou Diallo (Queens, NY - Guinea), 6-7 Alpha Diallo (Guinea), 6-9 Mamadi Diakite (Blue Ridge, VA - Guinea) and 6-9 Wenyen Gabriel (Wilbraham, MA - Sudan). Diakite, ranked #69 in the 2016 class, committed to Virginia after the event and will likely reclassify to the 2015 class and redshirt.
Team Africa won the third place game over 2017 Team Lillard 89-85 as the two Diallos combined for 56 points (Alpha (30), Hamadou (26). Alpha also pulled down 13 rebounds and Gabriel had his fourth double-double of the event with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Gabriel, a skinny 6-9, 185-pounder had his stock skyrocket after the event. Ranked No. 83 in the 2016 class prior to the event, Gabriel wowed scouts and media in attendance with his versatility, length and extremely quick jumping and shot-blocking ability. He had back-to-back 20-point, 20-rebound performances including a 26-point, 23-rebound game against USA Team Wall. Gabriel was the leading rebounder (14.7 pg) and shot-blocker (2.8 pg) while averaging 17.7 points. He should rated in the top-15 in his class and recently trimmed to college choices to Duke, Kentucky, Maryland, UConn and Providence. He'll be playing at Wilbraham & Monson (MA) this upcoming season.
The other African 2016 recruit, Alpha Diallo, led the team in scoring (20.5 pg) and also pulled down 10.7 rebounds per game. He's ranked No.100 by ESPN and also should be rated much higher. Diallo is very effective in one-on-one situations and is a good pick and roll player. He had not been recruited by any high-majors prior to the event but will definitely be getting some calls now.
Hamadou Diallo is ranked No. 30 in the 2017 class by ESPN. The lefty is an efficient scorer and just needs to become a more consistent three-point shooter to complete his arsenal. He recently picked up an offer from Kansas but many feel that UConn has the inside track with St. John's in pursuit as well. Although his three-point shooting was off (5-of-23) at the event, Diallo still managed to score at a 19.5 ppg clip.
Other African team members who we feel are potential high major recruits include 6-7 Lamane Diane, 6'2 Richardson Maitre and 6-10 Cheickna Dembele. Diane made his first appearance in the USA on this trip and can be special if he can harness his raw skill. Maitre, a 2016 recruit, is a solid PG who would be best for a high mid-major program while Dembele suffered an injury prior to the event which kept him on the sidelines. He was likely the team's best pure big-man.
Carl Berman is a Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball.