NBA

NBA star Mason Plumlee to host four-day camp and 3x3 tournaments in Dubai

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Mason Plumlee with kids at his 2017 camp in Dubai. Picture: Chris Whiteoak/whiteoakpictures.

Have you heard that Duplays has teamed up with NBA star Mason Plumlee to bring you an unforgettable basketball experience right here in Dubai?

Denver Nuggets centre/power forward Plumlee and a great supporting coaching staff from the US, including Doug Young, former director of the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy, are hosting a four-day youth development programme as well as youth and adult 3×3 basketball tournaments you can get involved in this week.

Former Duke Blue Devils standout Plumlee, along with his pro team – US coaches from well-established high schools and colleges – will take the campers through the high-intensity, drill based four-day US training programme.

Each attendee receives a camp t-shirt, photo with Plumlee and a certificate of participation.

The MVP from the camp, meanwhile, gets the glittering grand prize of a paid trip to the Nike Basketball Camp in the US.

Participants will range from six to 18-years-old for the four-day camp, which runs from Tuesday, August 28 to August 31 at AFLEC School (Lycee Francais International de Dubai) on Oud Metha Road.

The camp culminates in a youth 3×3 tournament on Friday, with the tournament designed for boys and girls of three age categories: 8-10-years-old; 10-12-years-old and 12-16. All participants get a complimentary t-shirt.

The winning team receives a Nike basketball and apparel set, including shorts, t-shirt, socks and gets to play against Plumlee and his team.

Plumlee’s visit to the Emirates ends on September 7 with an adult 3×3 tournament, designed for the male players 17 years and above.

Each participant receives a complimentary t-shirt.

The lucky winners get Dh3,000, the runners-up will earn Dh2,000 while there is also Dh1,000 up for grabs for third place. The champions will also get to play a friendly match with Plumlee and his team. All games will take place at Lycee Francais International de Dubai.

For more details call 04 447 2394, email [email protected] or visit www.duplays.com.

As a freshman in 2009/10, the 28-year-old Plumlee was a back-up forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team’s national championship team, playing with his older brother Miles.

He was selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2013 NBA draft and has gone on to play for the Portland Trail Blazers, while he has been with the Nuggets since 2017.

He was also a member of the United States national team that competed in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, winning a gold medal.

What: Mason Plumlee summer camp and 3×3 basketball tournaments

Where: Aflec School

When: August 28-31 and September 7

Contact: Call +971 4 447 2394 or email [email protected]

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The Zion Williamson hype is reaching new levels as the top prospect is becoming a household name

Jay Asser 16/08/2018
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We’re less than two months removed from the NBA draft, but the excitement is already brewing for one of the top prospects in next year’s class.

Zion Williamson has been on the radar for some time now thanks to his ridiculous dunks in high school, and now that he’s entering his freshman year at Duke, the buzz he’s creating is already unavoidable.

If you’ve never seen the 18-year-old, he looks more like an NFL defensive end than a fleet-footed forward. Listed by Duke at 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, his size is eye-popping for someone his age, but what’s truly spectacular is his combination of power and athleticism.

Williamson is a high flyer in every sense of the word. He regularly posterises defenders with rim-rocking slams and somehow, can easily dunk from the free throw line despite carrying as much weight as he does.

He also utilises his explosiveness on the other end of the floor as well, often making jaw-dropping blocks in which he swallows up a player’s shot.

While Williamson is undoubtedly a walking highlight, there are still questions surrounding his ability as an all-around player who can thrive against better athletes at the college level and beyond.

In his first game with Duke, the potential one-and-done star eased some of those concerns with a monster effort against Ryerson.

It was a preseason game against a subpar opponent, but Williamson looked convincing for the Blue Devils in the 86-67 win.

In his 29-point, 13-rebound performance, Williamson produced some stellar moments, including a putback dunk and alley-oop slam. He also showcased his ability to absolutely sky for rebounds, as well as his underrated ball-handling.

Most importantly though, Williamson shot 3-of-4 from long range – a positive sign considering his outside shooting is the weakest part of his game.

With everything he can do inside the arc, Williamson doesn’t have to be a knockdown 3-point shooter to have success in the NBA. However, being able to keep defences honest by hitting open 3s would go a long way in opening up his game.

Heading into what is expected to be his lone season at Duke, Williamson is considered a top-five draft prospect, along with teammates R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish. With the Blue Devils loaded with talent this year, it will be interesting to see the hierarchy among the trio.

Barrett, Reddish and Williamson are all around the same height, but whereas Williamson is more of undersized big man, Barrett and Reddish are pure wings who can operate as three-level scorers.

While Williamson may not be the best prospect of the three, it’s certainly possible he’s not only the most exciting Duke player to watch this season, but the most exciting player in the nation.

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NBA

Carmelo Anthony will likely have to accept bench role with the Houston Rockets

Jay Asser 14/08/2018
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# of the United States during a practice session at the 2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team minicamp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A spot in the starting line-up has always been important to Carmelo Anthony, but for the first time in his NBA career, a bench role may be unavoidable.

On Monday, Anthony officially signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Houston Rockets to complete a move that had been weeks in the making.

What was somewhat surprising, however, was the report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Rockets are “expected to bring Anthony off the bench” this season. Wojnarowski later clarified Anthony “will compete for a starting spot in training camp, but ultimately could come off the bench”.

Bringing Anthony off the bench actually makes complete sense for Houston, but it would be a surprise if the 10-time All-Star accepts that role willingly. In his lone year with Oklahoma City Thunder this past season, Anthony consistently made it clear he would not sacrifice his starting spot.

Now 34, Anthony is no longer the superstar he once was as his production and efficiency continue to decline. This past season, he finished with career-lows in points (16.2), assists (1.3) and field goal percentage (40.4), while being a minus defender on the other end of the floor.

Anthony’s 3-point shooting – 35.7 on 6.1 attempts per game last season – is average, but in Houston’s offence with James Harden and Chris Paul feeding him the ball, he should get more open looks on the perimeter.

If he can’t hold up defensively though, that robs the Rockets of their versatility and switchability, especially against the Golden State Warriors.

So while Anthony may be okay with coming off the bench now, especially alongside a player of Eric Gordon’s stature, it’s hard to imagine him being fine with finishing games on the bench as well.

“I don’t know, and that’s something that we’ll have to work out,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told USA Today Sports of Anthony’s role. “All I know is that we’ll try different combos – pre-season, early season, and the good thing is that with analytics and with gut feelings and coaches and players, we’ll figure out what is the best way to play.

“And again, if everybody is on board, then it’ll be, ‘Hey, this is where we’re the best. This is how we can win the championship.’ I don’t know yet, but we’ll make sure we get it right as good as we can.”

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