Santiago Vescovi, Mojave King lead NBA Global Academy to second straight title

Photo: NBA Academies

Santiago Vescovi, Mojave King lead NBA Global Academy to second straight title

Boys Basketball

Santiago Vescovi, Mojave King lead NBA Global Academy to second straight title


For the second year in a row, the NBA Global Academy was victorious in the NBA Academy Games.

The team of international stars took down World Select Blue 97-73 in the championship game of the weekend tournament, finishing 6-0 and going undefeated again.

The NBA Global Academy has made it to the championship game all three years of the tournament, falling in 2017 before winning the last two.

This year, the team was led by the tournament’s leading scorer in Mojave King, a 17-year-old Australian guard, and Santiago Vescovi, a 17-year old guard from Uruguay who led the team in scoring in the semifinals and finals.

Vescovi pushed the team to a fast start in the championship game. He had 13 first-half points and four steals as the NBA Global Academy forced 13 turnovers, eight of which came in the first quarter as the team jumped to a 28-16 lead.

In the second quarter, 3-pointers began falling for the NBA Global Academy. After going just 2-for-7 in the first quarter, the team drilled five of nine in the second to help extend the lead to 50-31 at the half.

It was too much for the World Select Blue to overcome. NBA Global Academy took the victory.

Vescovi finished with a team-high 20 points to go with six rebounds and five steals.

Leading the World Select Blue team was Samuel Mennenga, a 17-year-old small forward from New Zealand. He had 15 first-half points and finished with 27, going 10-for-11 from the free throw line.

Mannenga was the only player on the team who could get going. His 10 free throws were more than the NBA Global Academy made as a team, but excluding his numbers, World Select Blue went 5-for-15 from the charity stripe. Mannenga also led the team in both offensive rebounds (two) and defensive rebounds (5).

Jeremy Sochan, a 16-year-old forward from Poland, was the only other World Select Blue to crack double-digit points as he scored 10.

On the NBA Global Academy side, Vannett, 17-year-old Australian forward Blake Jones (18 points), King (14) and 16-year-old Australian guard Joshua Giddey (11) all accomplished the feat.

The tournament helped secure college offers for a handful of players. King was offered by Oklahoma, according to Travis Branham of 247Sports. The outlet also reported that Vescovi received offers from Miami, Washington State, Maryland, Tempe and Rutgers.

Rutgers also offered Giddey, Mannenga and 17-year-old Australian guard Taran Armstrong, according to Travis Branham.

Mannenga was the second-leading scorer in the tournament. He scored 95 total over the six games while King finished with 96.


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