BROOKLYN, N.Y. — France’s Jaylen Hoard had 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals to lead the White Squad to a 63-58 defeat of the Black Squad in the International Game Friday at the Jordan Brand Classic.
The game was for players 16 and under and Hoard turned 16 just last month. He missed only three shots and was named his team’s Most Valuable Player.
“My goal was to play hard and get the win, then points and then steals,” Hoard said. “The points came from just being aggressive.”
Hoard, a 6-6 forward from Wattignies, France, said he’s unlikely to come anytime soon to the United States to play high school ball because he signed a two-year contract with INSEP, France’s National Institute of Sport and Physical Education. Some of INSEP’s alumni include Boris Diaw, Tony Parker and Ronny Turiaf.
White coach Herman Harried of Lake Clifton (Baltimore) said Hoard was a lot more laid-back in practice.
“I was totally surprised because nothing he did today he did the last two days of practice,” Harried said. “I was like, ‘Who is that out there?’ In practice, he was just there. His upside is upstanding, at his length, playing on the wing. In the United States, he would be JV age. I think his character is real laid-back, but on the court he’s different.”
The Black MVP was Njegos Sikiras of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who had 14 points and eight rebounds.
“I felt good. It’s difficult to be the MVP in this event,” Sikiras said. “It’s a big experience for me and now I have a big motivation to work hard every day and go after my dream.”