02 - 10
July 2022
9 Benjamin David Simmons (AUS), 9. Benjamin SIMMONS (Australia)
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Top 15 biggest names to play U17 World Cup: Places 3-5

MIES (Switzerland) - The FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup has seen some amazing players over the course of five tournaments since 2010. Who are the top stars to have played in this event? We look at the Top 15 biggest names and how they performed at the event.

Here is places 11-15 plus Honorable mentions

Here is places 6-10

Here is the third installment with places 3-5.

5 - Jamal Murray - Canada - 2014

Canada may have only finished sixth in the 2014 edition in Dubai but Murray was the North Americans' top player by some margin. He led the team in scoring with 16.4 points - ranking seventh overall - and 2.9 assists while also grabbing 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals. Also noteworthy, Murray played 190 minutes and committed only three (!) turnovers in the tournament. Murray poured in 25 points in a big win over Australia in the group stage but his 24 points - on just 7-of-22 shooting - were not enough versus Serbia in the Quarter-Finals.

Murray played the following summer at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto and helped Canada to the silver medal - at just 18 years of age. In 2016, the Denver Nuggets drafted him seventh overall after one season at Kentucky. Murray helped Denver become the first NBA team to rally from multiple 3-1 series deficits to reach the 2020 NBA Western Conference Finals with some of amazing individual performances. He averaged more than 20 points per game in 2019-20 and 2020-21 but then missed the entire 2021-22 season recovering from an ACL tear that ended the 2020-21 season in April.

4 - Ben Simmons - Australia - 2012

Simmons may have been very baby-faced back in 2012, but he already showed in Kaunas what is possible. Still a couple of weeks shy of his 16th birthday, Simmons tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals against Czech Republic and before collecting 13 points and 14 rebounds against Egypt. Simmons totaled just 46 minutes in the final four games, picking up 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks and averaging 9.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists for the tournament.

Simmons only played for Australia's senior national team in two games at the FIBA Oceania Championship 2013, leaving Boomers fans wondering if he will ever play for the Green and Gold again. Simmons spent one season at Louisiana State University and then was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He missed his entire first season with an injury and then captured the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Simmons became known for not having an outside shot but still was three times named an All-Star and received a spot on the All-NBA Third Team and NBA All-Defensive Team in 2020. Simmons refused to play in the 2021-22 season and was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets in February 2022 but never played a game in the season.

3 - Bradley Beal - USA - 2010

Beal was named as the MVP of the 2010 edition as he was a true force from beyond the three-point line in the game in Hamburg. He ranked first on the USA team in scoring with 18.2 points per game - third-most in the tournament - while leading the competition in three-pointers made (31) and attempted (65) and ranked fourth in three-point shooting percentage (47.7 percent). He knocked down at least four triples in five games, including seven in the Quarter-Finals against Australia, four in the Semi-Finals versus Canada and five in the Final against Poland. Beal also collected 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks.

Beal played one season in college at the University of Florida and then was selected No. 3 overall by the Washington Wizards in 2012. He was named to the All-NBA Rookie Team in 2013 and was a three-time NBA All-Star, including making the All-NBA Third Team in 2021. Beal has averaged 22.1 points per game over his career and twice averaged more than 30 points - topping out at 31.3 points per game in 2020-21. After playing 82 regular season games in 2017-18 and 2018-19, Beal played a career-low 40 games in 2021-22 as he underwent season-ending surgery on his left wrist in February 2022. Beal never played again for the United States, though he committed to the 2020 Olympics and played in three exhibition games ahead of the Games in 2021 but was ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.

We will round out the top 15 later this week with the first two spots in our ranking.