Out of Africa

Trailblazers of Tomorrow: African Ballers Take Center Stage at Nike Hoop Summit 2024

Prodigies like Anicet Dybantsa Jr., Wrenwyck Ijiwoye, Flory Bidunga and more are set to shine on the global stage. Dive into who they are and how they made it to Portland before the action unfolds.

Published on

April 16, 2024

Last Updated on

April 13, 2024

Elango Mbotona

Elango Mbotona

Staff Writer

Ulrich Kamka Chomche, Vivian Iwuchukwu and Khaman Maluach

African Prodigies in the 2024 Nike Hoop Summit

In the heart of basketball's global evolution, the 25th Annual Nike Hoop Summit stands as a melting pot of talent, showcasing the next generation of basketball phenoms. Set to take place on April 13, 2024, at the Moda Center, Portland, Oregon, United States. This prestigious event traditionally dominated by American prospects has recently witnessed a significant influx of African talent gracing the hardwood. 

Africa's basketball landscape has undergone a seismic shift in recent times, with an ever-increasing number of young talents emerging from the continent. These rising stars possess a potent blend of athleticism, skill, and determination, captivating the attention of scouts and fans worldwide. 

Meet the Prospects

Anicet Dybantsa Jr.(Jamaica & Republic of Congo) - Guard/Forward

Anicet Dybantsa, affectionately known as A.J., is a name that resonates with promise and talent in the realm of basketball. At just 17 years old, this highly-rated small forward has captured the attention of basketball enthusiasts worldwide with his exceptional skills and potential. His mother is Jamaican and his father is Congolese meaning Dybantsa's journey to the Nike Hoop Summit represents not only a personal triumph but also a celebration of his diverse heritage.

Anicet Dybantsa Jr. with his mother and father

2023 was an exceptional year for Dybantsa as he gained the Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts and a gold medal with Team USA’s U16 squad at the FIBA World Cup.

Anicet Dybantsa dunking on Mexico at the 2023 FIBA U16 World Cup

Dybantsa's journey is a testament to his unyielding passion for the game, evident from his early years spent honing his craft on the courts of Brockton. His decision to reclassify to the class of 2025 and join basketball powerhouse Prolific Prep reflects his insatiable hunger for success and his relentless pursuit of greatness. With dreams of lifting the National Championship trophy and cementing his legacy as one of basketball's all-time greats, Dybantsa's ascent promises to be one of the most captivating storylines in the world of sports.

He has the unique opportunity to represent both nations at the Nike Hoop Summit and his rare blend of skill, athleticism, and determination has earned him recognition as a potential future No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, with analysts praising his skill set and versatility.

As Dybantsa prepares to showcase his talents in Oregon, fans eagerly anticipate witnessing the next chapter in his remarkable journey. A.J. Dybantsa is poised to leave an indelible mark on the basketball world and inspire a new generation of aspiring athletes.

Annor Boateng (Ghana) - Guard/Forward

Boasting Ghanaian heritage on his maternal side, Annor Boateng stands as a distinguished student-athlete from Little Rock Central High School. A unique student-athlete at Little Rock Central High School, Boateng's exceptional achievements include being named the 2023-24 Gatorade Arkansas Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Annor Boateng

His significant contributions to leading the Tigers to victory in the Class 6A state title, coupled with impressive statistics averaging 18.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game, solidify his status as the state's top high school player and the 26th recruit nationally in the Class of 2024.

Moreover, Boateng's commitment extends beyond the basketball court, evident in his academic excellence and community service. With a commendable 3.69 GPA, he actively participates in philanthropic activities, including volunteering at the Arkansas HAWKS food pantry and mentoring young enthusiasts at the Boys & Girls Club. Additionally, Boateng showcases his musical talent as a skilled saxophonist.

Boateng's participation in the Nike Hoop Summit highlights the importance of family support, athletic prowess, and academic achievement. His demeanour, athleticism, and basketball IQ distinguish him on the court, where his versatility enables him to excel in scoring, rebounding, and defensive play, establishing him as a formidable presence. With his sights set on further success, we eagerly anticipate his future triumphs.

Flory Bidunga (Democratic Republic of Congo) - Center

Flory Bidunga, a towering centre hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is making waves in the basketball world with his exceptional talent and potential. Despite being just 18 years old, Bidunga has already captured the attention of basketball enthusiasts worldwide with his outstanding skills on the court. His journey from the streets of Kinshasa to the courts of Indiana is a testament to his determination and passion for the game.

Flory Bidunga looks on during the Pangos All-American Festival on August 27 2022

Bidunga's story represents more than just a personal triumph; it's a celebration of his Congolese heritage and the resilience of the human spirit. His decision to pursue basketball in the United States demonstrates his unwavering dedication to his craft and his relentless pursuit of excellence. With dreams of representing his country on the global stage, Bidunga's journey promises to inspire a new generation of aspiring athletes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond.

"Watching Flory Bidunga play is like witnessing poetry in motion. His agility and finesse, coupled with his towering presence, make him a nightmare for opposing teams." - Sports Commentator

In the 2022-2023 season, Bidunga showcased his dominance with remarkable statistics, averaging 19.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. His phenomenal shooting accuracy, connecting on an astounding 82.2% of his field goal attempts, underscores his efficiency and effectiveness on the court. As a junior, he was named the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and was selected to play in the 2024 McDonald's All-American Boys Game during his senior basketball season.

Bidunga's journey is marked by his unyielding perseverance and commitment to success. As he prepares to embark on the next chapter of his basketball career at the University of Kansas, we know his skillset will be vital at the Nike Summit and inspire countless others to follow in his footsteps.

Khaman Maluach (South Sudan) - Center

Khaman Maluach's participation in the Nike Hoop Summit is a testament to his exceptional talent and potential as a basketball player. Standing at an impressive 7 foot 2 inches, Maluach brings size, agility, and skill to the court, making him a formidable presence in the paint. As a member of the NBA Africa Academy, he has honed his abilities under elite coaching and competition, preparing him to excel on the international stage. His inclusion in the Nike Summit not only showcases his prowess but also underscores the rising prominence of African basketball talent globally.

Khaman Maluach during media day at the 2024 NBA Basketball Without Boarders

Moreover, Maluach's commitment to Duke University demonstrates his ambition and dedication to furthering his basketball career at the highest level of collegiate competition. Duke's prestigious basketball program provides him with an opportunity to continue his development under experienced coaches while competing against some of the best collegiate players in the United States.

Khaman Maluach's basketball prowess extends beyond collegiate and international arenas, as evidenced by his impactful performances with the South Sudan national team. Taking part in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, his mesmerising range and dogged resilience have made significant contributions to the national team's success. Averaging 21 points and 15.5 rebounds per game in the 2023 Africa Champions Clubs ROAD TO B.A.L.  His ability to score, rebound, and defend has been instrumental in elevating any team's performance.

"Khaman Maluach is a rare talent with the potential to make a significant impact at the next level. His combination of size, skill, and athleticism sets him apart, and I have no doubt that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA". - Jonathan Givony

With such high praise from respected voices in the basketball community, Maluach's future looks bright, and his journey is one to watch closely as he continues to make strides in his basketball career.

Wrenwyck Ijiwoye (Nigeria) - Guard

Wrenwyck "Shay" Ijiwoye, a rising talent from Nigeria, is poised to make a significant impact in the basketball world. Aged 17 and standing at 5 feet 6 inches tall, she garners attention on the court, attracting interest from renowned collegiate programs such as Stanford. With her Nigerian heritage adding depth to her background, Ijiwoye embodies the resilience and determination characteristic of athletes from her homeland.

Wrenwyck "Shay" Ijiwoye at Stanford media day

Her prowess on the court is a fusion of strength, skill, and agility. Despite her smaller stature, Ijiwoye's upper body strength enables her to navigate past defenders and dominate the boards. With remarkable speed and exceptional ball-handling, she moves with the agility of a cheetah, leaving opponents trailing behind. Furthermore, her precision as a shooter and playmaker demonstrates her basketball intelligence and court awareness, creating scoring opportunities for both herself and her teammates.

As one of the most talented players in her state, Ijiwoye's potential appears limitless. Her involvement in prestigious events like the Nike Hoop Summit highlights her ability to compete at the highest level. With her talent and determination, she is poised to represent Nigeria proudly on the international stage.

Her journey from standout high school player to potential international sensation showcases her unwavering dedication and passion for the game. Last season, she boasted impressive averages of 18 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists for the now-defunct Arizona Elite Prep. This season, she joins the formidable Desert Vista squad (5-1), with four of its starting five listed in the Elite 50. Recently, she earned a spot on the prestigious La Jolla Country Day (San Diego, California) Sweet 16 All-Tournament Team.

Excitement mounts as we anticipate her performance at the summit.

Ulrich Kamka Chomche (Cameroon) - Centre

Ulrich Kamka Chomche, a promising basketball talent hailing from Cameroon, is a rising star in the basketball scene. At the age of 18, Chomche possesses remarkable physical attributes and skillset, making him a dominant force on the court. Standing tall at 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 meters), he primarily plays as a centre, utilizing his height advantage to excel in rebounding, shot-blocking, and defending near the rim. His defensive prowess is particularly impressive, with a long wingspan that allows him to alter opponents' shots effectively and protect the paint.

Chomche's defensive capabilities extend beyond shot-blocking, as he also excels in disrupting passing lanes and contesting shots both inside and outside. His ability to grab offensive and defensive rebounds with authority makes him a crucial asset in controlling the boards and securing second-chance opportunities for his team. Demonstrated during the FIBA Africa Champions Clubs ROAD TO B.A.L. 2024 where he picked up 10.5 rebounds per game.

Moreover, he demonstrates efficiency in scoring around the rim, utilizing his size and touch to convert layups and dunks. His post moves and footwork further enhance his scoring efficiency in the paint, showcasing a well-rounded offensive game.

Chomche's potential impact on the Nike summit could be significant. His elite defensive skills combined with developing offensive capabilities make him a versatile player who can contribute on both ends of the floor. With further development, Chomche has the potential to become a dominant presence in international basketball competitions, representing Cameroon with pride.

Ulrich Kamka Chomche against Mali in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament 2023 Nigeria

While Chomche's journey to the pinnacle of basketball is still ongoing, his remarkable progress and skillset have already earned him recognition as a rising star. With his blend of size, defensive prowess, and scoring ability, Ulrich Chomche is undoubtedly a player to watch out for in the basketball world. As he continues to refine his game and reach new heights, he is poised to make a significant impact on the court.

Vazoumana Diallo (Cote d'Ivoire) - Point Guard

Vazoumana Diallo, also known as Zoom, is a highly promising basketball player attending Prolific Prep in Napa, California. Originally from Cote d'Ivoire, Diallo has made a name for himself as a standout player in the American basketball scene. At 6 feet 4 inches (approximately 1.93 meters) tall, Diallo possesses the physical attributes necessary for success in the game, combining his height with impressive athleticism and skill.

Vazoumana "Zoom" Diallo

At 18 Diallo has already garnered attention for his dominance on the court. His ability to excel as a point guard stems from his exceptional ball-handling skills, court vision, and scoring prowess. Diallo's versatility allows him to impact the game in various ways, whether it's orchestrating plays, driving to the basket, or knocking down shots from beyond the arc.

Diallo's participation in the Nike Hoop Summit signifies his potential to showcase his talents on a global stage and further solidify his status as a rising star in the basketball world. As one of the premier events for showcasing top high school basketball talent, Diallo's presence at the Nike Hoop Summit underscores his significance within the basketball community and highlights his potential impact on the international stage.

Industry experts have lauded Diallo for his basketball IQ, leadership qualities, and work ethic. His dedication to the game, coupled with his natural talent, has impressed scouts and analysts alike, with many projecting a bright future for Diallo in the sport. With his combination of skills, athleticism, and determination, Diallo is poised to make waves in the basketball world and leave a lasting impression on fans and experts alike.

Overall, he represents the next generation of basketball talent, blending his international roots with his passion for the game to carve out a successful career. Diallo appears to be on a steep upward trajectory, promising an exciting journey ahead for this young phenom.

Vivian Iwuchukwu (Nigeria) - Forward

Vivian Iwuchukwu, a rising basketball star, hails from Imo StateNigeria. At the age of 18, she stands tall at 6 feet 3 inches, possessing an impressive height advantage on the court. Vivian's heritage from Nigeria adds to her rich background and cultural diversity, contributing to her unique perspective and approach to the game.

Vivian Iwuchukwu

Her dominance on the basketball court stems from a combination of factors. With her athleticism, agility, and strong post-playing abilities, Vivian imposes a formidable presence in the paint. She possesses a high motor, displaying relentless energy and determination in every game, which sets her apart as a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor.

Vivian's potential impact on the Nike Summit is significant, especially as she represents Nigeria, a country known for its strong women's basketball program. Her inclusion in the event not only showcases her talent but also highlights the growing prominence of Nigerian basketball on the international stage. With her skills and dedication, Vivian has the opportunity to make a lasting impression and inspire young players globally.

Industry experts have lauded Vivian for her promising talent and potential. Her recruitment by USC Women's Basketball ranked as the No. 47 recruit nationally by ESPNW, underscores her status as one of the top prospects in her class. Coaches and analysts alike recognize her as a player with the ability to make a significant impact on the collegiate level and beyond.

During her time at Montverde Academy, Vivian showcased her skills, contributing to the team's impressive 26-1 record. Averaging 7.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, she played a crucial role in the team's success, further solidifying her reputation as a rising star in the world of basketball.

We can't wit to see what africa does at this years event.

[Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire, Nick Wenger, Instagram, The Big Tip Off, Reggie Hildred, FIBA]


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