Nike Hoop Jamboree: The Bigs

ST. LOUIS – John Riek was the toast of the town at the Nike Hoop Jamboree. The Sudanese center made it hard to score on and when he wasn't cleaning up his own misses, he was showcasing and enormous wingspan. While Riek showed out to be the best, Isaih Armwood and a contingent of PF's battled.

For John Riek the question is simple: is he ready to take the next step?

Riek, a 7-foot-2 Sudanese center was the top big man at the 2007 Nike Hoop Jamboree. The designation carries a measure of historical significance. Previous top dogs included Greg Oden, Tyler Hansbrough, Spencer Hawes and last year co-standouts Jeremy Tyler and DeMarcus Cousins.

Riek Ruled In St. Louis
Realistically, the lone disappointment surrounding Riek all week was the fact that he arrived late to camp and his actual height and reach were not measured. The height needed no verification – he's legit – but measuring his expansive reach would have been fun.

Who is this guy? Well, he hails from Our Savior New American by way of the Sudan. He's been on the AAU scene this spring and colleges like DePaul, Pittsburgh and a host of others made initial contacts. After the Jamboree, the word should be out that this could be the best African post product to come through the pipeline since DeSagana Diop.

We don't have the space to mix it up and talk about all of the bigs from the camp but we'll take a few graphs and hit you with the names you need to familiarize yourself with for the summer stretch run.


It's important to acknowledge that the biggest separation at this position during the 4 days of camp came at the No. 2 slot. Riek comfortably sat on top of the position rankings and only LaQuinton Ross (SF, 2011) could have been argued as the better overall prospect.

Get out your coins and start flipping for the second slot. There really was little to no separation among the next handful. As expected, Daniel Orton had his moments of brilliance not to mention the biggest paws of anyone at camp.

DaShonte Riley has as much natural shot blocking ability as anyone in attendance. His offense was sporadic and this is a young man who can use the game to ascend to great places. Like Orton, if Riley develops a dominant streak – and remember we're talking about young kids here – the sky is officially the limit.

Be On The Lookout For …

  • Greg Smith (2009, California), Kyle Hardrick (2009, Oklahoma), Colin Reddick (2009, Georgia), Andrew Fitzgerald (2009, Maryland).


    It took him the entire camp, but on the final day Isaih Armwood cracked a smile. There was a lot of smile about because on Saturday morning he played like the shackles had been removed. Free to mix it up on the perimeter, Armwood didn't neglect the battle inside. Solid for the bulk of the week, but spectacular on the final day earned Armwood the nod as top power forward in the building.

    Armwood Finishes Strong
    Overall, this was a fairly distinguished group coming in but a handful managed to vault themselves onto the radar. DeShawn Painter continues to be a guy that catches our attention. Serious strides have been made since the high school season and his explosion, skill to mid-range and talent around the cup allowed him to separate from the pack.

    Painter was joined by Alex Oriakhi. The Connecticut commitment must love St. Louis because for the second year in a row he balled at the Hoop Jamboree. In fact, the two most impressive performances we've seen Oriakhi string together occurred at this event. For Oriakhi, the long arms are a calling card and he answered the challenge.

    If you're talking about the future, we'll throw John Henson out there. A young man who is clearly growing into an expansive frame, one scout described him as the next Channing Frye and we'll gladly pirate that comparison. Mix in a little Dontae Taylor, a stud out of National Christian and you've got an impressive lineup of five.

    Be On The Lookout For …

  • C.J. Leslie (2010, North Carolina), James Still (2009, Michigan), Marshawn Powell (2009, Virginia), Johntaveous Sulton (2009, Mississippi), Royce White (2009, Minnesota).

    Statistically Speaking

    Marshawn Powell (16 points), Kyle Hardrick (16) and C.J. Leslie (14) were the individual scoring leaders. … Riek's team captured the camp championship and he was also the anchor for the 3-on-3 champs. … Riek wasn't measured but we'll venture to guess he easily had the biggest reach and possibly wingspan. …

    Official winners in "Reach" category were: 9'2 Daniel Orton and James Vincet; 9'1 DaShonte Riley, Alex Oriakhi and John Henson. … "Wingspan" winners: 7'5 Dominique Ferguson (2010); 7'4 Daniel Orton; 7'3 Colin Reddick, Torin Walker, DaShonte Riley, Alex Oriakhi, John Henson.

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