WEST DES MOINES — New basketball knowledge wasn’t Georges Niang’s only souvenir from the Nike Basketball Academy this past weekend. Niang returned home with four stitches near the corner of his right eye after taking an accidental elbow to the face from Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer.
The wound isn’t on quite the same level as the blood-gushing cut Niang suffered during the Big 12 Tournament in 2014, but it was bad enough to force him out of the last session of the camp.
“I’ve got to keep my right eye out of the danger zone,” Niang said.
The camp gave Niang the opportunity to train with not just the nation’s best college players, but also some of the best players from the NBA. He didn’t let that opportunity go to waste.
“These are the best players in the world, this is where you want to be at,” Niang said Wednesday night at the YMCA Capital City League. “If I can learn anything from them, like little tricks of the trade, how the game works and life lessons, I’m definitely going to listen.”
The camp also gave Niang an opportunity to catch up with some of his Big 12 rivals, including Texas’ Isaiah Taylor and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, who was also Niang’s roommate.
“It’s always good when you see guys from you conference there, so you know you’re playing against some of the best competition night in and night out,” Niang said. “I’ve got nothing but love for those guys and I wish them nothing but the best, a lot of us were on the same teams when were out there, but during the season we’re not so much of friends.”
Phoenix Renewable Resources 130, YMCA 117
*** Kourtlin Jackson led the way for Phoenix Renewable Resources with 50 points, five steals and four rebounds. He also knocked down five 3-pointers to lead the team to the win in Monte Morris’ absence.
Nick Weiler-Babb added 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals for YMCA in the loss, who was without Jameel McKay. Terrance Bush Jr. led the team with 42 points.
Hannah Homes 91, Renaissance Granite & Quartz
*** Drake’s Kale Abrahamson scored 36 points and grabbed 11 boards to lead Hannah Homes to the win, despite being without Hallice Cooke and Deonte Burton.
Former Cyclone Daniel Edozie led the way for Renaissance with 20 points and 20 rebounds, while Tim Bennett also scored 29 points.
ADIO 140, Capital Orthopedics 120
*** Georges Niang scored 37 points, grabbed five rebounds and made four steals to lead ADIO to the win in his first game after the Nike Basketball Academy. Jordan Ashton did not play in the game.
Matt Thomas scored 38 points, including six 3-pointers, and dished seven assists to lead Capital Orthopedics in the loss, who was once again without Nick Nowskowiak.