While the 2008 Olympics kicked off in Beijing, Nike had their own mini Olympics in Portland, hosting the Nike Global Challenge. The international prep basketball tournament had teams from Serbia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Senegal and 3 USA teams (with the top 30 players in the USA). As the Nike photographer it was my job to shoot the games and portraits with some of the top players. I have photographed most of the USA players over the last 2 years, but it's a whole new level when they put on a USA uniform. It was great to see the sense of pride these guys had for their country! Especially Thierno Ibrahima Niang of Senegal!
The competition was very spirited with each teams national pride on the line. Serbia proved they were here to contend for the title by defeating a USA team 3 on the first night. Senegal, a country with very little basketball history played with a lot of heart. My favorite action shot is of Avery Bradley dunking over 6'11" Uros Lukovic of Serbia... An in your face dunk that sparked a bench clearing fight! (click on photographs to view larger)
But in the end the championship game was between USA Team 1 & USA Team 2. Rosco Smith closed the door on USA Team 1 with a fast break for a wide open dunk! Show Time! USA Team 2 wins the Nike Global Challenge.