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mavsfanforever
06-29-2003, 11:20 AM
Link (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/basketball/6196542.htm)

DALLAS - Deron Williams tries not to think about it.

The former star at The Colony, a sophomore at Illinois, wants to focus on winning games at the Coca-Cola Global Games and representing his country as a member of the U.S Basketball Men's Junior World Championship team.

But in the back of his mind, he knows there will be a lot of eyes watching. Important eyes that could have a bearing on his future.

Since the tournament started three years ago, interest from NBA scouts has increased dramatically with the opportunity to watch some of the top young foreign and American players square off.

"This is a scout's dream because you get to come to a central location in the United States and you get to see the talent from all four corners of the earth," Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "It is an event designed to have the top 20-and-under talent in the world coming here annually."

Eight foreign teams from four continents and two teams from the United States -- the U.S. Junior World Championship team and the Texas-based Global Games Select Team -- will be competing for the Global Games gold medal. The tournament starts today and ends Saturday with the medal games at SMU's Moody Coliseum.

When the Global Games started in 2000, only a handful of NBA teams sent representatives to an eight-team tournament.

Each year, the number of scouts has grown to where, in 2001, about half of the NBA teams sent representatives. Last year, NBA director of scouting Marty Blake attended the games for the first time. Four teams sent their general manager and 27 of the 29 NBA teams sent scouts.

Nelson, who said he will be at every game, expects all the NBA teams to send someone to evaluate the talent.

"I think it's a great idea, and it's a great tool for us," Blake said. "It's great basketball and a great scouting tool. It's a piece of the puzzle [to scouting foreign players]."

Global Games alumni are making an impact in the NBA.

Last year, the Denver Nuggets drafted Nene Hilario with the seventh pick of the draft. He was voted to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

In Thursday's draft, second overall pick Darko Milicic was one of three Serbian players drafted in the first round. All played in the Global Games. Zarko Cabarkapa went to Phoenix with the 17th pick and Aleksandar Pavlovic went 19th to Utah.

In the second round, the Houston Rockets took another Global Games alumnus -- Malick Badiane of Senegal -- with the 44th pick.

Many from this year's tournament are likely to be chosen in future drafts.

"Each team will have a player or two that can certainly play at our level here in the States, which is why so many foreign players are chosen in the first round," said Ernie Kent, the University of Oregon coach who is coaching the U.S. Junior World Championship team. "Basketball has caught up to the United States outside of this country."

The United States also had Global Games alumni taken in the first round Thursday. Chris Bosh of Dallas, who was the MVP of last year's Global Games, was picked No. 4 overall by Toronto after spending a year at Georgia Tech. Former Oregon star Luke Ridnour, who played in the inaugural Global Games, was taken by Seattle with the 14th pick.

"The alumnus that have been through there really speak for themselves," Nelson said. "It is a chance for our young players to test themselves against the best in the world."

And to catch the eye of the movers and shakers of the NBA.

"It is a chance to prove yourself," Williams said. "But you try not to worry about that too much."

Global Games

When: Today through Saturday

Where: Moody Coliseum, SMU campus, Dallas

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 children 10-under

Information: (800) 955-5566; www.tickets.com

Five to watch

LaMarcus Aldridge

Global Games Select Team

Aldridge is being billed as the next Kevin Garnett. At 6-foot-11, Aldridge has an all-around game. He can post up inside, hit a 3-pointer and can run the point, if needed. Aldridge, from Seagoville, has committed to Texas but is considering heading straight to the NBA after high school.

Daniel Horton

U.S. Junior National Team

Horton starred at Cedar Hill for three years after moving from New Orleans. He played for Michigan as a freshman this past season and started all 30 games. After averaging 15.2 points and 4.5 assists per game, Horton was selected the 2003 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten second team.

J.J. Redick

U.S. Junior National Team

As a freshman for Duke, Redick started 30 of 33 games and was the runner-up to Chris Bosh for ACC Rookie of the Year. He averaged 15 points, 2.5 rebounds, two assists and 1.2 steals per game. He showed he can shoot well from the outside, hitting 39.9 percent of his 3-pointers.

Yon Stephenson

Scandinavia

Stephenson, from Iceland, is a playmaker on both ends of the court. He can play either guard position and excels at driving inside and taking it to the rim or finding an open teammate. He is also a defensive stopper for Scandinavia. Stephenson has been invited to play in the Mavericks summer league.

Marcus Vinicius

Brazil

Vinicius, 6-9, handles the ball very well for a player his size. With his ability to play the point, the 19-year-old presents mismatches for his often smaller opponents. He can post them up and he can create his own shot and shoot over defenders.

-- John Miller

Schedule

Today

Puerto Rico vs. Scandinavia, 7 p.m.

Yugoslavia vs. Brazil, 9 p.m.

Monday

Canada vs. Africa, 2 p.m.

Ukraine vs. Scandinavia, 4 p.m.

Global Games Select vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.

USA vs. Lithuania, 8 p.m.

Tuesday

Ukraine vs. Brazil, noon

Canada vs. Scandinavia, 2 p.m.

Lithuania vs. Africa, 4 p.m.

Yugoslavia vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m.

USA vs. Global Games Select, 8 p.m.

Wednesday

Lithuania vs. Canada, 2 p.m.

Yugoslavia vs. Ukraine, 4 p.m.

Global Games Select vs. Brazil, 6 p.m.

USA vs. Africa, 8 p.m.

Thursday

Lithuania vs. Ukraine, noon

Africa vs. Scandinavia, 2 p.m.

Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, 4 p.m.

Global Games Select vs. Yugoslavia, 6 p.m.

USA vs. Canada, 8 p.m.

Saturday

Medal-round game, noon

Medal-round game, 2 p.m.

Medal-round game, 4 p.m.

Bronze-medal game, 6 p.m.

Gold-medal game, 8 p.m.


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Chicago JK
06-29-2003, 11:35 AM
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Yon Stephenson

Scandinavia

Stephenson, from Iceland, is a playmaker on both ends of the court. He can play either guard position and excels at driving inside and taking it to the rim or finding an open teammate. He is also a defensive stopper for Scandinavia. Stephenson has been invited to play in the Mavericks summer league.

any idea how old this kid is? I am guessing over 22 since he will be playing with the Mavericks this year. Is it Yon or Jon like the paper reported a few days ago? Keep your eye open for this kid and see if he has any talent. Thanks

Mandyahl
06-29-2003, 09:10 PM
any idea if there are still tickets available and on which days??