HILLSBORO, Ore. –
If Anthony Davis is bothered by a controversial report that his commitment was being shopped around by his father to major college basketball programs, he didn't show it Friday afternoon at the Nike Global Challenge.
Davis, a 6-foot-9, 185-pound forward from Perspectives Charter (Chicago, Ill.), scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds as his USA Midwest team pounded All-Asia at Liberty High School outside of Portland, 127-86. The surprise performer of the summer, Davis was the focal point during his 27 minutes on the floor in a gym filled with over 20 NBA scouts.
Bradley Beal of Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) scored a team-high 28 points for USA Midwest while Mesa (Mesa, Ariz.) point guard Jahii Carson added 22 points and nine assists.
But back to Davis, who the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier in the week was ready to make a pledge to Kentucky and that his father, Anthony Davis Sr., had set the price for that commitment at as high as $200,000 (follow this link for a rundown of the Chicago Sun-Times story controversy and response by the University of Kentucky).
Following the game Friday, the media was given access to Davis on the condition that he wouldn't be asked about the story. He denied that he has come to a decision about his college destination.
For Davis, the tumultuous week caps a whirlwind summer that saw him go from complete unknown without a single scholarship offer in April to a surefire 2011 top 10 prospect – possibly even No. 1.
"It's been great overall," Davis said. "I've been getting a lot of new faces coming toward me, a lot of big tournaments and a lot of big camps. I'm very excited and happy for myself."
He remained under the radar throughout his junior year at Perspectives, a combined junior high/high school with about 350 students, but exploded in April at an event in Merrillville, Ind., while playing with Chicago-based club team Meanstreets.
"Some of the schools I was playing with weren't really known and a lot of people didn't know about me," Davis said. "When I started playing with Meanstreets and started playing in big tournaments, I broke out and everybody was like 'Who is this Anthony Davis kid?'
"Everybody started checking me. I kept playing the same way every game and every tournament and college coaches started noticing me. They started offering me and things started getting better for me."
DePaul, Kentucky, Ohio State and Syracuse are the leaders for Davis' services, although understandably he wasn't keen on addressing recruiting Friday in Hillsboro.
Beal considering football?
Being one of the top guards in the nation apparently isn't satisfying Beal's thirst for athletic excellence. The 6-4 Florida commitment and No. 5 overall prospect in MaxPreps.com's 2011 Top 100 is considering playing football for Chaminade this fall.
"It's up to my mom, really," Beal said following his 28-point performance Friday. "My little brothers have always wanted me to play. I would be able to play with them this year."
The MVP of the FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany earlier this summer, Beal would line up at wide receiver or safety for the Flyers. He last played as a ninth-grader.
Injuries have crossed the future Gator's mind and he has been reminded several times what happened to Seattle's Tony Wroten Jr. last fall. Playing football for the first time since junior high, Wroten tore his ACL and missed his entire junior season in hoops.
"I get that a lot," Beal said. "That's one of the main things I'm thinking about."
Parks Jr. leaving Melrose for Philippines
Defending Tennessee Class AAA state champions Melrose (Memphis, Tenn.) took a hit when point guard Chris Jones left the program for Oak Ridge Military Academy (Oak Ridge, N.C.).
The task of repeating looks even tougher now as the Golden Wildcats will also be without Bobby Parks Jr., who is leaving the school and the city of Memphis with his family for the Philippines. The 6-5, 198-pound guard/wing is a member of the All-Asia team at the Nike Global Challenge.
As tough as the adjustment will be prior to his final year of high school, the news isn't entirely bad. Parks Jr. is half-Filipino and lived in the country for 13 years. There are also plans for him to play with the Philippines' national team.
"It was tough to leave. The talent around makes you better and the training that Coach J.J. (Melrose head coach Jermaine Johnson) does is incredible," Parks Jr. said. "I got used to the United States and have a lot of friends. But at the same time I'm from the Philippines, so it's kind of hard both ways."
Parks Jr. dropped in a team-high 25 points for All-Asia in the loss to USA Midwest. He averaged 8.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game last winter playing alongside a pair of elite 2011 prospects in Jones and Adonis Thomas.
He is hearing from Arkansas, Boston College, Mississippi State, New Mexico, South Florida and Vanderbilt, among others.
"I haven't even sat down to think about college yet," Parks Jr. said. "I just see letters and put them to the side."
Arizona sophomore gets last-minute call
A late addition to the Nike Global Challenge, Basha (Chandler, Ariz.) rising sophomore Torren Jones scored four points in 11 minutes of action in a loss to INSEP France.
The 6-8, 210-pound forward is one of the youngest participants in the event. He joined Nigel Williams-Goss of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) as the only 2013 graduates among the American participants.
"It was exciting to come up here and put the USA jersey on," Jones said.
Arizona is Jones' one and only offer, but that should change dramatically over the next 24 months.
"I'm surprised I even have an offer at this point," Jones said.
He has big plans for his sophomore season after averaging 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game as a freshman.
"I'm going to put Basha on my back and take 'em all the way," Jones joked, sending a shot across the bow of fellow NGC participant Carson of nearby Mesa.
* Canada's Andrew Wiggins – born in 1995 – is the youngest player participating in the Nike Global Challenge. There was talk that Wiggins would be bringing his game stateside for his freshman year, but he said Friday he would be attending Vaughan Secondary School in Ontario.
Canada also featured the tallest player in 7-4 Sim Bhullar.
* Some monster stat lines were produced in Canada's 105-100 double-overtime win over USA East. Kyle Wiltjer of Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) led the winners with 31 points and 18 rebounds while teammate Khem Birch added 25 and 20. For the Americans, James McAdoo poured in 24 points and snared 13 boards.
* Dorian Finney-Smith of Norcom (Portsmouth, Va.), another big producer in the USA East-Canada game with 19 points and 16 rebounds, has narrowed his list to Florida, Maryland, Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Finney-Smith – No. 17 in MaxPreps.com's 2011 Top 100 – expects to make a decision in October.