International Presence

New England Recruiting Report | Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

International Presence

Both Nike and Adidas concluded their respective grassroots season this week with competing International events. 

Both events operate under the same premise - assembling the top players in the United States to compete against their counterparts from the rest of the world.  The Global Challenge tournament consists of eight teams, four comprised of players from the U.S. and then teams from Brazil, Canada, France, and Asia.  Adidas Nations is comprised of six teams, United States 2011, United States 2012, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. 

The Global Challenge final saw U.S. South defeat U.S. Midwest while it was a similar story at Adidas Nations with USA 2011 defeating USA 2012 in the final. 

New England was well reprsented at both events with Michael Carter-Williams and Khem Birch wearing Nike in Oregon and Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski sporting Adidas in Chicago. 

Birch walked away from the Global Challenge as the big winner on the International side.  After he was profiled by ESPN's Joel Francisco on both day one and day two of the event, his week culminated by being named Most Valuable Player on the international side. 

On day one Francisco said, "Birch is one of the elite prospects in the Class of 2012. He has a long, lean frame and is extremely bouncy. He influences the game at a high level, despite being limited offensively. He had a number of extraordinary blocks and electrifying dunks in traffic. He gets to the rim before most get off the ground. He projects as a hybrid 4-man, but his skills and fundamentals need polishing."

Day two was more of the same: "Birch is definitely making a name for himself here in the Pacific Northwest. The quick leaper can change the complexion of the game at both ends. Whether it's filling the lane and putting down one of his many spectacular dunks or just hovering around the paint swatting away shots, his impact on the game is immense. He plays with great energy at both ends, and his approach never changes. His offense is still in its infantile stage, but he can turn over either shoulder and convert, despite his slight frame. Overall, he looks to be one of the top five prospects at this event."

Birch shared MVP honors with P.J. Hairston, who took the award on the American side. 

In Chicago, Murphy and Tarczewski both caught praise from ESPN's Reggie Rankin.  

"Alex Murphy (South Kingstown, R.I./St. Mark's) has been nursing a tender knee, but when he's on the floor his skill is a thing of beauty," Rankin wrote.  "The No. 1-ranked small forward in the 2012 class lets the game come to him, but he can handle the ball, pass and knows when to make his move to score."

"Kaleb Tarzcewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark's) is a 7-0 center with great upside. He ran the floor well and finished drop-off passes above the rim. Tarzcewski also made some great passes out of the post that led to easy baskets for open and cutting teammates."