An enjoyable early look at college's future stars

NEW ORLEANS -- While the recruiting scene has gone quiet and college coaches are finally taking time away from the trail, adidas put the capper on the summer hoops scene with the adidas Basketball Experience, a five-day showcase for U.S. and international high school players. In the months leading up to the event, the top U.S. prospects in the 2008 and 2009 high school graduating classes -- as selected by adidas regardless of high school, AAU or future college affiliation -- convened to practice and compete against one another four times at different locations throughout the country.

During the adidas Basketball Experience, the U.S. players, who were divided into two teams by graduating class, competed in a tournament with a similar collection of talent from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. At the event, which concludes today at the Allero Center in New Orleans, it seems the real winner has been the game of basketball itself.