Three Kentucky Signees in Nike Hoop Summit

Nick Richards (McDonald’s All-American Game Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three future Kentucky men’s basketball players are set to participate in the annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon, on Friday. Guards Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will join forward Nick Richards in the game set to tipoff at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Richards will represent the World Team, while Green will suit up for the USA Team. All players must be 19 years old or younger to participate in the 20th annual event.

Green, though, suffered a concussion in practice Thursday and he may have to miss the game.

UK can only publicize prospects who have signed a national letter of intent or a financial aid agreement. The next signing period begins April 12 and that’s when Jarred Vanderbilt, who will be on Team USA, is expected to sign with UK also.

The Hoop Summit has had success in featuring some of the world’s elite players. According to the event, as of December 2016, 70 former U.S. players and 38 former members of the World Team have been active in the NBA. Included in those numbers are former Kentucky Wildcats in Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Archie Goodwin, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Skal Labissiere, Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray, Nerlens Noel, Julius Randle, Marquis Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The 2016-17 Kentucky team also featured some former Nike Hoop Summit participants in Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Wenyen Gabriel and Tai Wynyard.

Gilgeous-Alexander will come to Kentucky out of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Originally, from Canada, Gilgeous-Alexander was a member of the 2016 Canadian Men’s U18 National Team that captured the silver medal at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship over the summer.

He averaged 7.8 points, a tournament-best 5.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game, second best in the field. ESPN, Scout and 247Sports tab him a top-50, four-star prospect. He capped his season averaging 18.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

He will be playing in the Derby Classic April 15 in Louisville.

 Green is considered a five-star point guard prospect by Rivals, ESPN and Scout. ESPN ranks him as high as the No. 22 overall prospect in the class, while Rivals has him at No. 23, Scout tabs him at No. 25 and 247Sports list him at No. 31. Green just closed out a prolific high school career that saw him capture four state championships, including a 22-point, eight-assist and two-steal performance on March 23 to lift Neumann-Goretti to the title.

Green, was named the 2016 Pennsylvania Class 3A Player of the Year as a junior, was a part of the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship team that won a gold medal in Chile. He averaged 18.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in leading Neumann-Goretti High School to the Pennsylvania state championship in 2015-16.

Richards will be the second player in the Calipari era to join Kentucky out of the Patrick School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. National champion and No. 2 overall NBA Draft selection, Kidd-Gilchrist was the other. Richards is ranked in the top 20 by the major recruiting services, including ESPN (No. 12), 247 Sports (No. 15), Scout (No. 17) and Rivals (No. 19). 247Sports tabs him as the second-best center in the class.

He’s a consensus five-star prospect. Richards joined fellow UK players Towns and Briscoe as other high school stars to lead their teams to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions when he led The Patrick School to a 64-45 win. Richards scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds in the win.

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