Future Tiger Rose selected for Summit
By Jim Masilak
January 16, 2007
Chicago Simeon point guard Derrick Rose has been hyped as perhaps the most talented recruit in University of Memphis basketball history.
On April 7, Tiger fans will have their first opportunity to see him in the flesh.
Regarded by many as one of the top five players nationally in the class of 2007, Rose is one of 10 high school players selected to play for the United States Junior National Select Team in the Nike Hoop Summit at FedExForum.
"It will almost be a home game for me to get to play in front of the Memphis crowd," said the 6-4, 194-pound Rose, who is averaging 16 points and 11 assists this season. "I want to show Memphis fans that I'm an unselfish point guard, and I want to show them why they should come watch next year."
Rose is one of several top prospects scheduled to play for Team USA against a still-to-be-announced under-19 World team.
Huntington (W.Va.) guard O.J. Mayo, the No. 1 senior in the country according to Scout.com, and Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep forward Michael Beasley, the top-rated player as judged by Rivals.com, both are set to take part.
So are a number of other consensus top-40 players, including Phoenix St. Mary's guard Jerryd Bayless, Lake Oswego (Ore.) forward Kevin Love and Baltimore Towson Catholic forward Donte' Greene.
"Last year we thought we had a very talented team, and we did," said Don Showalter, the chair of USA Basketball's Men's Junior Development Committee, which selected the squad. "But this year I think it is probably another level of talent."
Six of the 10 players chosen, including Rose, played for the under-18 U.S. team that won a gold medal at last year's FIBA Americas championship.
The team will be coached by Yakima (Wash.) Eisenhower head coach Pat Fitterer.
While Rose's FedExForum debut is still three months away, those eager to catch a glimpse of the Tigers' point guard of the future are in luck.
Simeon is scheduled to play Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, the No. 1 team in USA Today's Super 25 rankings, on Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Simeon was rated No. 14 by USA Today before losing Sunday to Manhattan (N.Y.) Rice at Madison Square Garden. Rose scored 22 points in the 53-51 defeat.
"It'll be a real honor to play in the Nike Hoop Summit," Rose said. "I know how many guys didn't get invited to play."
The Hoop Summit, set for a 3 p.m. start on Fox Sports Net South, will be preceded at 12:30 p.m. by the Memphis All-Star Classic for top local seniors.
The U.S. team holds a 7-2 series lead over the World team in the Hoop Summit, which moved to Memphis in 2005. A total of 63 alumni have been drafted by the NBA since the game's 1995 inception. (The event went on hiatus from 2001-03.)
-- Jim Masilak: 529-2311
2007 Nike Hoop Summit
What: The USA Men's Junior National Select team taking on a team of elite players 19-and-under from around the world
When, where: April 7, 3 p.m., at FedExForum
Tickets: Available at FedExForum and Ticketmaster locations, by calling 525-1515 or at ticketmaster.com