By Jose M. Romero / @RomeroJoseM
For Fox Deportes
WASHINGTON D.C. – You could hear one team speaking Chinese, the other Spanish and English, it was so quiet in the D.C. Armory Sunday morning.
Only a handful of fans and even fewer college coaches filled a few seats. Aside from the old-school salsa music on the speakers and squeaking sneakers, the seventh-place game of the Nike Global Challenge at the D.C. Armory was without much fanfare.
For David Rosado, though, this game – his FIBA U-19 Puerto Rico national basketball team against a U-19 team from China — was everything. It was Rosado’s last chance in D.C. to show college coaches he was worthy of a scholarship.
Rosado, a recent graduate of Saddle River Day School in New Jersey, is still looking for a school for which to continue his basketball experience. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard is shopping himself to colleges with the help of his father, Mike, and spent three months with the Puerto Rican U-19 national team training on the island (plus a trip to Brazil) leading up to the Nike tournament, going back to Jersey only to take part in his high school graduation.
Rosado could very well have made a good impression Sunday. He led his team’s comeback from an early 10-point deficit with his hot shooting to start the third quarter. Rosado accounted for all of Puerto Rico’s first 12 points of the second half.
Puerto Rico won 84-71 and Rosado made 8 of 12 shots including three 3-pointers to finish with a team-leading 23 points.
“We just had to come out and finish strong, and I just left it out on the court,” Rosado said. “We’ve been working so hard together as a team, and we didn’t really have that many practices together. We’ve just been busting out butts working hard on defense and we’d just been having hard breaks, so this was out lucky one.”
Rosado wants coaches to know he’s “ready to make a commitment to your college,” as it says on a flier he and his father distributed at the Nike showcase. The past two years, he averaged 26.5 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game, and scored a total of 1,301 points as North New Jersey’s leading scorer in back-to-back seasons.
Rosado scored a 1520 on his SAT exam and carried a 3.4 grade-point average.
“Hopefully after (Sunday) we find somewhere,” Rosado said. “I needed this game. I’m lucky everything went in.”
Rosado, a LeBron James fan, hopes to study business management and international business. He also hopes to continue to represent Puerto Rico internationally and dreams of playing in the Olympics.
He also went to Brazil with his Puerto Rican team before the Global Challenge. While training in the humidity and heat of Puerto Rico, he noticed that island-style basketball is quick and guard-oriented. The team practiced at the Olympic Training Center near Salinas on the southern part of the island, and for Rosado, it was his first visit to the place of his roots.
“I would stay there forever. I loved it,” he said.