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Rakeem Christmas Enters Portlandia

Are you watching Portlandia? It's hit-and-miss, like most sketch comedy, but it has it's moments. And living in the Pacific Northwest, I certainly see a lot of the stereotypes they make fun of on a daily basis.

I mean, I see this guy nine times a day (and wish the same fate upon him each time):

Rakeem Christmas will get a chance to experience "where young people go to retire" when he plays in the 2011 Nike Hoops Summit on Saturday at 7pm in Portland. If you're unfamiliar with this game, here's a quick intro:

The game features a hand-selected group of 10 international players -- generally from three if not four continents -- and has an established track record of uncovering future NBA players. That "World Team" faces a group of 10 top American players -- including many McDonald's All-Americans in a showcase game on Saturday, April 10 at the Rose Garden arena, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. One of the game's biggest benefits is its timing, as it precedes the NBA Draft by just a few months, serving as a great, recent data point for the league's talent evaluators.

Christmas joins other All-Americans like Austin Rivers (Duke), Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Tony Wroten (Washington) in a battle against the World. After his showing in the McDonald's All-American Game, you can bet Rak wants to put up some good numbers to remind folks why he's so highly-valued.

Christmas also wants one more good time with friends before heading to Syracuse and becoming mortal enemies with them as they start playing for Kentucky, Duke and other horrible universities.

What made Syracuse a good fit for you?
I know a lot of players there, and I like coach Boeheim and coach Murphy. They run a lot of stuff that I’m used to playing in high school and during the summertime, too.

What helps you stay motivated?
Just getting ready for the next level at Syracuse and getting ready to win a championship there.

One nice side-effect of all this exposure is that we're learning Christmas is a great addition to the characters that make up Syracuse basketball. He's got a great, dry wit, he's not afraid to sing Katy Perry songs out loud and he oozes potential on the court for a team that's going to need a solid presence in the middle.

Keep an eye on Rak this weekend. The game is on Fox Sports Net so, we'll do a GameThread here. In the meantime, let's hope Rak puts on his finest flannel and enjoys his brief time in clown college: