Canadians crack roster and coaching staff at Nike tourney Staff

3/21/2011 5:56:54 PM

The Nike Hoop Summit's World Select Team was announced Monday, and it features the largest ever Canadian contingent to participate in the event.

Kevin Pangos (6'1", Holland Landing, ON) and Kyle Wiltjer (Portland, OR) - both players on Canada's national basketball program - will be representing Canada on the court, while Toronto's Roy Rana was named as the World Select Team Head Coach.

"This is a phenomenal honour and very exciting, not only for me but for all of the Canadians in the game," Rana said in a release. He also serves as the head coach for Canada's Cadet Men's National Team.  "I've had the opportunity to coach both Kevin and Kyle and both players represent Canada with a great deal of pride.  We look forward to doing well in the game."
The prestigious Nike Hoop Summit is among the premier annual basketball events for senior high school-aged boys (U19). Unique to this event, the Nike Hoop Summit is an international game featuring the USA Junior National Select Team competing against the World Select Team, a 10-player squad selected from six different countries across three continents.

This will be the second time that two Canadians have made the squad.  Last year, Tristan Thompson (Brampton, ON) and Cory Joseph (Pickering, ON) were part of the world team that lost to Team USA 101-97.

Pangos played an integral role for Canada's bronze-medal team at the FIBA U17 World Championship last summer.  He was named the top point guard at tournament, averaging a team-high 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

In his senior high school season at Dr. John Denison in Newmarket, Ont., Pangos led the Huskies to the provincial AAA championship game. He will attend Gonzaga University next fall.

A member of Canada's junior national team, Wiltjer was also selected to play in the 34th Annual McDonald's All American Game (March 30) as well as the 10th Annual Nike Jordan Brand Classic (April 16).

Wiltjer helped Canada to bronze at last year's U18 FIBA Americas Championship, which earned Canada a berth to the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship later this summer.  He was named to the All-Tournament second team after averaging 19.4 points and 6.0 rebounds a game while shooting 62.1 per cent from the field.

He also led Jesuit High School to an unprecedented third straight Oregon state high school championship. He is heading to the University of Kentucky in the fall.

The USA holds a 10-3 advantage in Nike Hoop Summit history.  The 2011 World Select squad will look to claim the title, a tough challenge for the newly-named coach.
"The most important thing is to build team chemistry in a short amount of time," added Rana.  "My goal is to get all of these talented young international players on the same page focused on one thing, a win."

The game will be played at Portland's Rose Garden on April 9.