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Summer Zag Tournament Updates

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Rui, Ira, Chet

USA Basketball

Players have been arriving on college campuses for Summer workouts all across America, including Spokane. Olympic National teams have officially been announced for the event in a couple of weeks. Three Zags are participating in these International competitions, with two Zags still getting ready for The Basketball Tournament taking place domestically.

Chet Holmgren

The seven-foot unicorn was on campus for all of 24 hours before heading to Latvia to compete in the U-19 FIBA World Cup for the United States. And he’s played fantastic. Through four wins, he’s averaging a team-high 20 minutes. His 12.8 points a game is second on the team and he leads the roster shooting 67 percent from the field and grabbing 7.5 rebounds. He’s also shown an incredible willingness to pass the ball, racking up 3.5 assists a game. Of course, his biggest impact most games is felt defensively, where he’s blocked 2.8 shots a night, good for third best in the tournament (tied with Oumar Ballo).

The United States is now into the quarterfinals where they will take on a Senegal team competing in their first quarterfinal round ever (Friday, 8 am pacific). If they win that, they’ll likely have a showdown with Canada in the semi-finals, which should be the best game of the tournament. Canada is led by Ryan Nembhard, the younger brother of Gonzaga’s Andrew Nembhard. They also have several other high-major D1 players on the roster and should give the US a good battle. All these games can be streamed live on YouTube on the FIBA YouTube page.

Rui Hachimura

The former Zag picked up a huge honor last week with the announcement that he will be a flag bearer for Japan in the Summer Olympics. And he’s doing it in his home country, which is awesome. On the basketball front, Hachimura and Japan have quite the tall task ahead of them as they are in the same group as Spain and Argentina, two typical powerhouses, and Slovenia, who rosters Luka Doncic. Luka eliminated Domantas Sabonis in the championship game of the Lithuanian Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Filip Petrusev was also eliminated in the finals of the Serbian Qualifying Tournament, meaning just one Zag will represent the school in 5-on-5 basketball.

July 26: Japan vs Spain - 5:00 am pacific

July 28: Japan vs Slovenia: 9:40 pm pacific

July 31: Japan vs Argentina: 9:40 pm pacific

Ira Brown

The hyper-athletic veteran is competing for Japan in the Olympics, but not in the normal basketball event. Instead, he’s part of the inaugural 3x3 tournament. The 38-year old is part of a four-man roster that will compete against seven other countries in hopes of earning a medal. Each of the eight teams in the tournament will play each other once, with the top six advancing to bracket play. Japan tips off with games at 3 am and 6 am pacific on both July 24 and July 25 and then more reasonably timed 8 pm and 11 pm pacific games on the night of July 25.

Josh Perkins and Admon Gilder

Two former Gonzaga guards will be competing in The Basketball Tournament, the winner-take-all 64-team, $1 million tournament. Josh Perkins will play for the Jimmy V squad he was going to play for last Summer before a positive Covid test knocked them out a day before the start of the event. Admon Gilder is playing for Omaha Blue Crew, a heavy Creighton-based team.

Omaha Blue Crew (Gilder) vs Purple and Black - July 16 at 1 pm pacific

Jimmy V (Perkins) vs Brotherly Love - July 25 at 5 pm pacific