McCollum, Team World Best Team Africa In Second NBA Africa Game

by Casey Holdahl
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Team World, featuring Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, defeated Team Africa, comprised of first and second generation NBA players from Africa, 108-97 in the NBA Africa Game held Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Saturday’s game in Johannesburg was the second game put on by the NBA in Africa, with Team World also winning the previous contest in 2015.

McCollum came off the bench for Team World and finished with eight points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 shooting from three, four rebounds and an assist in 25 minutes. The 6-4 guard out of Lehigh might not have shot the ball as well as he would have liked, though his defense late in the game helped Team World pull away in the fourth quarter.

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown led the World Team in scoring with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis and Pistons center Andre Drummond each finished with 14 points, with Drummond also grabbing 13 rebounds for the double-double. Courtney Lee and Kyle Lowry added 13 points for the World Team. Seven World Team players finished Saturday’s game in double figures.

Team Africa was led by Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists to win MVP honors. Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay finished one helper shy of a double-double wit 22 points and nine assists in 32 minutes. Dennis Schroder of the Hawks added 13 points and Rockets center Clint Capela rounded out the Africa Team double-figures scorers with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Saturday’s game in Johannesburg was the finale of a week of events on the continent, which included a Basketball Without Borders camp, a NBA Cares and NBPA Foundation Service Project with Habitat for Humanity and a tour of clinics and a food process plant in Addis Ababa with UNICEF. The game between Team Africa and Team World might have been the most entertaining part of McCollum’s trip, it likely won’t be his lasting memory of the week.

“When you do go to Africa and you experience it you’re appreciative and you’re grateful for what you have,” said McCollum. “The people here are awesome, they’re amazing, people who are in less fortunate situations but have high spirits. They don’t have a lot to be happy about, but they’re still happy and they’re proud and they enjoy life. That’s how I’m looking at things, I’ve got to be more appreciative of everything. I think that when you go on trips like this, it opens your eyes.”