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The Downbeat: the Team World v Team Africa edition

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The international Utah brand, Donovan Mitchell news, and more

Thabo Sefolosha with Team Africa

It’s pretty quiet around the NBA front (unless you’re Kyrie Irving or Carmelo Anthony), but there’s still still a few Jazz-related things to talk about.

Over the weekend, the NBA held a Team Africa vs Team World game.

Our own Thabo Sefolosha (who was a captain for Team Africa) played a well-rounded game, putting up 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist to go along with 3 steals. Having one of our players be so respected by his peers and perform well on an international stage is a great thing for the Utah Jazz.

Team Africa vs Team World full game highlights:

Speaking of international...

The Utah Jazz will open preseason play with two games against international teams. The game against the Syndey Kings had already been announced here on SLC Dunk. Utah will also play against Maccabi Haifa B.C., a team from the top pro division in Israel.

Both of these teams have championship pedigree. The Sydney Kings were the first NBL team to win three straight championships, and Maccabi Haifa competed for back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, winning the first and losing the second by 3 points (in 2014 the league championship was a two-game series decided by point differential - Maccabi Haifa lost the championship in overtime of game 2).

It looks like Dennis Lindsey and the Utah Jazz are really working hard to increase the international brand. It’s a great way to build the fanbase and ensure that the Jazz are globally recognized. There are a lot more people outside of the U.S. than in it, and the more marketable and recognizable the Jazz are, the harder it will be for agents and players to overlook us. (And the harder it will be for media outlets and sponsors to ignore our players.)

Donovan Mitchell has made a lot of people #takenote, including the guys at draftexpress:

Mitchell was also interviewed by Stefan Anderson of NBC Sports.

Mitchell talked about a lot, including how the pro game and college game are different.

Taking care of your body is big, it’s a long season. You know summer league games are in a short amount of time, make sure that you are getting you rest, making sure you’re a pro its different from being a college athlete.

You can read the entire interview here (Mitchell even talks about how he got his nickname!)

Rodney Hood is becoming a man of the people. He met fans and took photos. He seems to be embracing his role on and off the court.

Hood held a basketball camp in his hometown over the weekend.

This weekend marked the third annual “Welcome to Our Hood Basketball Camp,” sponsored by Rodney Hood and the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi. More than 430 basketball players of various ages from Mississippi and surrounding states signed up for the two-day skills development camp that was hosted at Meridian High School and additional sites throughout the city.

Read more about it here.

Joe Ingles is becoming more of a fan favorite with each interaction on social media. It appears he’s done a good job at developing his son, who is following in his footsteps (maybe).

I guess we won’t know for sure for another 15 or 16 years, but his son has taken the first steps (ha!) towards a pro basketball career.