BY LARRY VAUGHT
I thought Jarred Vanderbilt of Houston looked a lot better during practices for the McDonald’s All-American Game than he was when I watched him play five times as a junior but his numbers in the game did not show that.
However, at last week’s Nike Hoop Summit, the numbers were there in Team USA’s win.
He had 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while playing just a bit more than half the game. After the game, Vanderbilt said not being able to play on last summer’s USA Under 17 world championship team due to an injury motivated him.
“It motivated me a lot. I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder, considering that I didn’t get to play last (summer),” Vanderbilt said. “Just being able to step back on the court with USA Basketball across my chest is a great feeling. It’s a very prestigious game, and I’m just thankful to be here.”
He’ll be playing in the Jordan Brand Classic Friday along with UK signees P.J. Washington, Nick Richards and Quade Green — unless a concussion he suffered at the Hoop Summit keeps him out.
* * *