Dunigan has better outings on Tuesday

Mike Dunigan (Photo by Chris Wilson)

Portland -- After three days and five games, the only thing Mike Dunigan wanted to do was go home and rest. It's not that Dunigan regrets his experience at the Nike Global Challenge held at the University of Portland's Chiles Center, quite the contrary. Dunigan was flat worn out by some of the most challenging basketball he has ever played.

On Tuesday night, Mike Dunigan and Team USA2 met it's match and lost to Team3, 105-94. The fact that Dunigan and his the rest of the participants of the final game had enough strength to play at all was a testament to youth and enthusiasm. About four hours earlier in the day, USA2 had downed USA1, 113-97 in a game that took a lot of energy. Both teams in the final match up were running on fumes as jump shots hit the front end of the hoop and the monstrous slam dunks that had come so easy earlier in the day, turned in to common lay-ins during the evening session.

"I'm going home and sleep for 15 days straight," Dunigan said with a grin after the conclusion of the first game on Tuesday.

Dunigan was disappointed on Monday night with his performance against Team USA5 and said he could do better. On Tuesday he did just that. In the afternoon game he had 14 points and 11 rebounds and in the evening game while everyone else was continually trying to catch a second wind, Big Mike finished up with 15 points and nine boards in a losing effort. Over the course of the tourney Dunigan was credited with seven blocked shots. Matt Humphrey was slowed in the evening game and ended up with 11 points, but his tourney average was 16.2 points per game.

Tyreke Evans, the sensational guard from Ashton, Pa., sprained his ankle in the second quarter of the evening game but still managed to be named Most Valuable Player of the tournament with a blistering 28.2 points per game including 43 scored in the afternoon game. Evans was able to put weight on his ankle after the game was concluded but could not play in the second half against USA3.

Mike Hackman of Nike, the organizer of the event was very pleased with the tournament run and felt that the inaugural games are just a forerunner of what can happen in the future.

"There was great success in a lot of areas," said Hackman of the Nike summer basketball program. "This was the final piece of the summer."

Hackman hopes to expand the tournament next year by including more foreign teams into the competition. For the young American players this was the first time many of them had played using a 24-second clock and under international rules. The players from the U.S. are all in high school and are among the very elite of the class of 2008. College coaches were prohibited from attending the Global Challenge because of contact rules, however some NBA scouts were on hand during the tourney as they are allowed to watch foreign players compete.

The Tournament was a great opportunity for Portlanders to see some of the very best talent in the country and in nearly every game there were multiple future Pac-10 stars participating. Nike has found a great way to bring summer basketball to the state of Oregon and in the future the City of Portland should embrace the tournament and make it a showcase for international basketball.

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