Duke Basketball Rookie Now Two Wins From Gold in Buenos Aires

Incoming Duke basketball center Patrick Ngongba II isn't putting up lofty stats at the AmeriCup, but the experience should be rewarding.
Duke basketball freshman center Patrick Ngongba II
Duke basketball freshman center Patrick Ngongba II / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Duke basketball signee Patrick Ngongba II missed the bulk of his senior season at Paul VI Catholic (Va.) after undergoing foot surgery in November.

Nevertheless, the 6-foot-11, 235-pound five-star, who will arrive in Durham this summer sitting at No. 25 overall on the 247Sports 2024 Composite, earned a spot on the 12-man USA Basketball U18 National Team for this week's FIBA AmeriCup in Buenos Aires.

And Ngongba has played and scored in every game thus far for a U.S. bunch that went undefeated in group play. They advanced to Saturday's semifinals via Friday's 98-66 victory over Puerto Rico.

Against Puerto Rico, Ngongba saw only five minutes off the bench, his lowest mark in AmeriCup action. But there's no doubt he was active during his brief time on the floor, as he managed to tally two points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Through Team USA's 4-0 start in Buenos Aires, consisting of wins by as many as 96 points and no less than 22, the 18-year-old Patrick Ngongba II, a projected key piece to the Blue Devils' rotation next season, is averaging 4.8 points, 5.3 boards, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 blocks in 11.6 minutes per contest. He's shooting 54.5 percent from the field and is 7-for-10 at the charity stripe.

Ngongba and Team USA, also featuring 2025 Duke basketball offer holder Nate Ament and potential 2025 Blue Devil target Shelton Henderson, face Canada in the semifinals at 4:40 p.m. ET Saturday. The winner will square off against either Argentina or the Dominican Republic in the championship at 7:10 p.m. Sunday.

FIBA - The Basketball Channel livestreams all of the games on YouTube.

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Matt Giles

MATT GILES

Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on SI.com.