The Africa & Middle East Boys team were crowned the Jr. NBA World International Champions after winning their matchup against Canada, 93-75.
They were led by Marouf Moumine, who had the first triple-double in Jr. NBA World Championship history. He put up 28 points, 21 rebounds, and 12 assists.
Africa & Middle East played a very intensive, transition-heavy game where they pushed the pace with any chance they had. Canada were able to stay within striking distance until the fourth quarter when the deficit began to extend out of reach. Canada’s Rashane Smith shot 67 percent from the field to lead his team with 22 points in the loss.
Africa & Middle East head coach Johnny Kgolagano Rakudu said postgame that participating in the tournament was an amazing experience for both the players and coaches.
“Coaching the kids on an international stage is a great experience. Most of these kids have never been to the US before. This is a great responsibility for me and I have learned a lot.”
He added that coaching kids from different nations in one team taught him a lot of lessons in diversity.
Meanwhile, the Central Boys will look to continue their undefeated run in Orlando against Africa & Middle East. Central beat Southeast in Friday’s last game, 69-53. Central was spurred to victory by an incredible defensive effort in the second quarter where they held Southeast to just three points.
The Europe Girls were the first team to advance to the World Championship round as they staved off a late surge by Asia Pacific. Up by as much as ten late in the fourth quarter, Europe were able to make crucial baskets down the stretch to win 45-42.
Europe will face Central in the World Championship after the they beat Mid-Atlantic Girls in another down-to-the-wire thriller. Central Girls needed a total team effort to get the win, 45-41.
Legends of all kinds were on hand to take care of the action. Grant Hill, Swin Cash, Jason Collins, and Bo Outlaw all sat courtside over the course of the day to take in the action. Jr. NBA ambassador Dwyane Wade took to the mic in the arena to congratulate all of the participants at the inaugural event. Vince Carter and Donny Marshall were joined by legendary play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson on the call of the US and International Finals games.
The journey for the teams ends tomorrow with the Girls World Championship between Europe and Central. The Boys World Championship will immediately follow the conclusion of the Girls game as Africa & Middle East take on Central.