New Zealand age-group representatives Samuel Mennenga and Jake McKinley, plus Kiwi-born Mojave King have impressed in the third annual NBA Academy Games, with the Mennenga and King both playing pivotal roles in the final game of the round robin event.
This year’s Games consisted of a four-day round-robin tournament showcasing some of the world’s top young athletes in front of both NBA scouts and top NCAA college coaches. The 2019 Games were held at the Atlanta Hawks’ NBA training facility.
Mojave King’s NBA Global Academy team were undefeated after the six-game round robin, winning the final game over Mennenga’s World Select Blue, 97 to 73. King painted the stat sheets with his own style, being one of the top three scorers for Global team in all of their six games.
Undoubtedly Mennenga’s individual effort for World Select Blue will have turned heads against King’s Global. The Junior Tall Blacks and Aon Nationals U19 MVP high scored with 27 points. Add to that his five defensive rebounds, two turnovers and one assist, 10 from 11 free throws and three treys from five attempts.
Jake McKinley played for World Select Red, winning four of their six games.
Mojave King has New Zealand and US citizenships, although he may yet look to play for Australia. King is within the Australian Institute of Sport programme and has lived in Australia since the age of four.
See all the NBA Academy Games’ results including stats and footage here: https://games.nbaacademy.nba.com/federation/18/schedule