USA Basketball makes its move to Tempe official

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While the United States senior men’s national basketball team has held its summer training camps in Las Vegas, using UNLV’s on-campus Mendenhall Center as a home base of sorts, junior teams have held their training and tryout camps in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 1993.

That officially changed on Wednesday, as USA Basketball announced that it will move its headquarters to Tempe, Ariz. USA Place, LLC has been commissioned to develop the new headquarters, which will be based on a 10.5-acre plot of land right next to the Arizona State campus.

“This is an exciting and an incredible opportunity that offers nothing but positives for USA Basketball,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in the release. “USA Place will offer USA Basketball an excellent site for the development of its office headquarters, a training center and event center that will provide the organization with a first-class site for hosting junior level events and will allow USA Basketball to continue to evolve.

“The new USA Basketball headquarters and training center will be first-class, state of art facilities, something I know we will be very proud of.”

The facility, which is projected to cost $350 million, will also host state championships for the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

One question to ask: how much will this benefit Arizona State?

According to, which initially reported the arrangement back in June, developers expect some 300,000 people to pass through the new development (there will also be a conference center and a hotel) annually. So economically there will be a boost, but there’s also the aspect of having some of the nation’s best prep talent right around the corner as well.

Even in the case of college players who are trying out for these junior national teams, word travels when it comes to a campus and what it has to offer so that won’t hurt matters either.

Whether or not head coaches Herb Sendek (men’s) and Charli Turner Thorn (women’s) make inroads with recruits based on this news remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a positive for their respective programs.

“Everything we do is in terms of recruiting the best players to our program, and this will help us do that,” Turner Thorne told AZCentral. “This is a huge victory for our community in the name of world-class basketball.”

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.