This past weekend, the final regular session of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League commenced in Los Angeles. With over 40 teams from across the country converging in L.A., the event was definitely loaded with top-tier talent and competition.
Among the competitors in attendance was a pair of Kentucky commits and consensus top-3 overall prospects: Mike Gilchrist and Marquis Teague. While Gilchrist’s Team Final squad looked to have more firepower on paper — a team that also featured five-star recruit Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse commit Trevor Cooney and a pair of future D-1 guys in Tyrone Johnson and Aaron Brown — Teague’s Spiece Indy Heat team managed to match their counterpart’s record with a 4-1 showing. Also in L.A. this weekend was recent Duke commit Michael Gbinije (Richmond, Va.), a 6-6 guard/forward. Gbinije, with help from teammate Mikael Hopkins, displayed an arsenal of offensive weapons from a decent spin-move in the paint to a solid corner trey ball. In our most recent Top 50 list, High School Hoop ranks Gbinije the 35th-best player in the country, regardless of class.
During the EYBL, we were able to catch up with these three rising stars and get their thoughts on how the summer is treating them so far. Also, with props to our guys over at One Entertainment Hoops, we’ve included a Dime/HSH exclusive mix tape from the EYBL event.
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How was the event and being in Los Angeles for the weekend?
Mike Gilchrist: It was excellent. I love L.A. I mean, it’s crazy here. Not compared to the East Coast, but hey.
Michael Gbinije: Yeah it’s a good tournament. We should have beat Each 1 Teach 1 (Austin Rivers, Trevor Lacey), but we let that slide. But it feels pretty good (to beat Teague’s Spiece squad).
Marquis Teague: Oh, it was a good experience, this is real fun and real exciting. We went to a few places (around town) and we’re about to go to Venice Beach after we leave here… I think it was a good tournament, my team played pretty good. We were 4-1. I played OK; I did a good job of leading my team. It wasn’t probably one of my best (tournaments) but I did pretty good.
What’s the rest of your summer looking like?
Gilchrist: I have the Peach Jam, USA Basketball and that’s about it. And a few things in Germany.
Gbinije: I got a couple camps and I’m trying out for the USA team in San Antonio. I think our next tournament is Peach Jam, so we got to get ready for that. This is our third tournament and it’s been pretty good.
Teague: We’re going to Team USA and we’re going to Germany. And then back to AAU in July. This will be my first time in Germany.
You going to train at all with your brother? (Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague)
Teague: Yeah, I’m probably going to go to Atlanta when I get back home… When we play, honestly, he’d probably win, but I’d give him a run for it.
What are you hoping for in your last season of high school basketball?
Gilchrist: Undefeated season for me and my teammates and just be a leader.
What made you decide on Duke?
Gbinije: At first Duke wasn’t even in the picture. In fact, they were one of the ACC schools that I wasn’t even looking at. But rumors spread that they were interested in me and I started to look into it. And Coach K just made me change my mind… I can see myself playing in the system and I think (Coach K) can prepare me to be a better player when I get there. I was also considering North Carolina a little bit, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Virginia and then some other Big East schools.
You’re headed to Kentucky next year, along with Mike Gilchrist. Did you guys get to talk much this weekend?
Teague: Yeah we’ve been talking and stuff; you know, we talk all the time. So this is nothing new to us. We talk a lot.