Oregon’s sophomore Payton Pritchard and freshman Abu Kigab have both led their respective FIBA U19 World Cup team’s to the quarterfinals on Friday. Impressively, both Ducks have starred for their country.
Kigab has been one of the best stories of the summer for the Ducks. The incoming frosh has elevated his game to the next level and just in time for college.
His showcase at the U19 World Cup has been highlighted by steady shooting and an unmatched rebounding ferocity. The comparisons to Dillon Brooks have become louder, just like Kigab’s evolving hair game.
Many have said the Ducks will be undersized next season. However, the presence of Kigab could change their perspective a bit. Like Brooks, Kigab can play down low in the post next to a Kenny Wooten or Paul White. He will enable Oregon the ability to continue their system play of the last three years.
As others begin to witness his work ethic, dedication and commitment to becoming great, he will only garner more national attention. This World Cup is a good start.
Canada’s star recorded back-to-back double-double performances. His latest outburst had Kigab collecting 17 points and 16 boards. Not to mention, he was 4-for-6 (67 percent) from downtown. You can watch his highlights at bottom of this page.
The Duck led his Canadian team to the quarterfinals with a convincing 87-65 victory over Angola. Kigab is averaging 15 points per game, alongside 10.8 rebounds per contest.
As for West Linn’s finest, Pritchard is pulling his weight for Team USA U19 and head coach John Calipari. The starting guard from Oregon has also led his team to the quarterfinal round. Team USA U19 is vying for their third straight World Cup after winning it in 2013 and 2015.
Pritchard concluded with 11 points, seven boards and five dimes in Team USA’s dominating win against Mali, 117-69.
You can watch the ENTIRE game from Team USA vs Mali if you click on the link below.
Next up for Team USA is Germany on Friday in the U19 Elite Eight. As for Canada and Kigab, they will have a stiff test in the form of France on Friday, as well. If both USA and Canada win their games, they will meet on Saturday in the semifinal round.
Oregon has the richest pipeline to Canadian basketball players in college currently. A host of Duck recruits are awaiting their U19 opportunity. Among the Canadian players that DID NOT participate in the U19 World Cup were Ignas Brazdeikis, Emmanuel Akot, O'Shae Brissett, Luguentz Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Simi Shittu and Nickeil Walker.
Canada practiced in the hometown of Dillon Brooks (Mississauga) prior to the start of the tournament. They traveled to France on June 20 for an exhibition before the start of the 2017 U19 World Cup from Egypt.
FULL GAME VIDEO (U19 World Cup - USA vs Mali)
GAME HIGHLIGHTS (U19 World Cup - Canada vs Angola)