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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utes guard Kenneth Ogbe wraps up European Championships with Germany

While his teammates have been preparing for this coming fall with offseason restrictions, Kenneth Ogbe has gotten to enjoy some actual competition.

The 6-foot-6 guard has been playing in Greece for the last two weeks, suiting up for his homeland of Germany in the U-20 FIBA European Championship. The Germans didn't fare terribly well, finishing 14th overall with a 52-47 loss to Russia on Saturday, but Ogbe had a few flashes of promise in his nine games for his country.

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Ogbe was a role player in the tournament, averaging 4.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in about 22 minutes per game. His biggest games came against tournament-runner up Spain (10 pts, 4 reb, 2 assts) and the Czech Republic (9 pts, 4 reb, 4 assts). In the tournament finale against Russia, Ogbe scored 8 points and was Germany's second-leading scorer.

It's worth noting that Ogbe shot poorly, only hitting 25.1 percent of his shots. But Germany as a team didn't exactly fire on target, averaging only 38.9 percent from the field. Germany had the tournament's best defense, only allowing 58.6 points per game, but struggled to score in general.

It's not Ogbe's first international cap: The Munich-born Ute also played in the U20 championships last year. His scoring (7.0 ppg vs. 4.9 ppg) was down, but his rebounding (2.9 rpg vs. 4.2 rpg) was up from 2013, which probably should make coach Larry Krystkowiak smile from afar at least a little bit.

Check out the highlight above at about the 52-second mark: A broken play leads to Ogbe taking a buzzer-beating prayer from distance ... and it goes in. One of a precious few highlights from the tournament for the rising sophomore.

-Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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