Basketball fans of all ages enjoyed Saturday night’s game in the Under Armour Elite 24
tournament. At times during the game, Team Coney Island dominated Team Bed Stuy,
taking a lead of as much as 30 points. However, Bed Stuy never gave up and made
a strong comeback, eventually losing in a tight game with a final score of 114 to 109.
What can you say about a game in New York, under the Brooklyn Bridge? The atmosphere had
plenty of New York energy and it was clear the game was for serious ballers and their devoted fans. The perfect stage was set and many did not disappoint!
For example, Isaiah Whitehead stole the show for Team Coney Island coached by Mario
Elie. Whitehead’s numbers were 26 points and 10-18 shooting. Meanwhile, Tyus
Jones’ crossover abilities were clearly impressive and Justin Jackson was a
reliable shooter starting the game off 7-7. Team Bed Stuy was coached by Pearl
Washington and had some standouts as well. For example, Emmanuel Mudiay was a
standout for team Bed Stuy, scoring 22 points and fighting to the bitter end.
Stephen Zimmerman and Kelly Oubre also played well to come back from the 30
point deficit. Stanley Johnson ended with a phenomenal 25 points and put on a show.
During the game, I think some of Team Bed Stuy’s substitutions were questionable. I would
like to have seen Zimmerman get some more playing time and I think the team would have benefitted from more passes. It almost seemed like whoever caught the ball was going to shoot it.
Overall, it was a pretty exciting game with many incredible performances such as Isaiah Whitehead’s 26 points, Stanley Johnson’s 25, and Emmanuel Mudiay’s 22. When Team Coney Island went up by 30 points, Stephen Zimmerman and Kelly Oubre lead the charge for a comeback. However, Tyus Jones, Justin Jackson, and Isaiah Whitehead maintained control and
finished them off. Anyway, did you check out the game? What did you think of it? What were some of your favorite plays? Anyway, thanks for reading and please comment!
Last night, the Under Armour Elite 24 3 point contest and slam dunk contest took place under the Brooklyn Bridge. There was a lot of fun, excitement, and surprises throughout the Three-Point and Slam Dunk contests. I had a great time watching it on television and only wished I was there in person!
Let’s start with that three-point contest. It consisted of Joel Berry, Devon Booker, Justin Jackson, Malik Newman, Kelly Oubre, Romelo Trimble, Rashad Vaughn, and Dion Wiley. I will focus on the leading scorers. Wiley went first and got 11 out of a possible 30 points. Romelo Trimble ended with 12 in the first out of three rounds. Malik Newman scored 13 and lastly, Devon Booker with an incredible 19. These four shooters moved into the next round and the top two scores would make
it to the finals. In this second round, Wiley went first again and ended with 8 points followed by Trimble who split his first round score in half by getting 6 points. Newman had 12 points in
the second round clinching him a spot in the finals. Booker cemented the other spot by putting up another incredible 15 points. So, for the final round it’s Newman versus Booker. After scoring 13 in the first round, 12 in the second, Newman scored 11 in the final round. Booker went 19 in the first round, 15 in the second round, and won the final round with 16 points. Booker led the scoring
in every round so it was a well-deserved win! He also showed that he knows how to put on a good show. Now, for the dunk contest.
The six contestants competing in the Under Armour Elite 24 Slam Dunk Contest were Stanley Johnson, Derrick Jones, Theo Pinson, Ivan Rabb, Justise Winslow, and Seventh Woods. The highest score you could get was a 40. Winslow and Johnson ran out of time and were unable to make their dunks within the 30 seconds allowed. The first round scores included Rabb with 17, Pinson had 18, Jones scored 35 and Woods earned 40. Jones scored high by jumping over two seven footers, and Woods stole the spotlight with an alley-oop-between-the-legs dunk. The second round was exciting with lower scores: Rabb had 18 points, Woods disappointed with a
28, Jones had 29 and Pinson had 29. This meant that the finals would be Jones versus Pinson. I have to give it to Derrick Jones for his creative attempts but he was not able to complete the dunk. This meant that all Theo Pinson had to do to win the dunk contest was to make the dunk. Instead, he decided to have some fun. He brought out his mom and put her near the basket. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT! I’ve seen people jump over teammates, random fans,
automobiles, and more. However, Pinson brought out his mom and jumped over her
as she proudly smiled. I had never seen someone jump over one of their immediate
family members. Pinson completed the dunk with style and got a perfect score of
40. He was crowned Under Armour Elite 24 Slam Dunk Contest Champion and earned
every bit of the title. He made it fun to watch and was quite a showman!
Overall, both contests were a blast to watch. These guys really know how to shoot and
slam. Devon Booker had a total of 50 out of 90 possible points from downtown for
the whole competition, and Theo Pinson had a total of 87 out of a possible 120
points. These two did pretty incredible for their competitions. Congratulations
to them both! I can’t wait to watch tonight’s game and see them in action.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned tonight for the Under Armour Elite 24 Game where Team
Coney Island coached by Chris Mullin will take on Team Bed Stuy coached by Pearl
Washington. The game starts at 7:00 PM ET. Who do you think will win? Please comment!
On Saturday, I went to the packed Big Strick Classic where the best high-school players of NYC played against some of the best high-school players in the USA. However, before I get to the main event, let’s talk about the dunk contest! These guys could fly, man! Derrick Jones jumped over Stephen Zimmerman and Myles Turner, two seven-footers and jammed it in. The champion, however, was LaDarius Chester who can flat out fly. The dunk contest was a thriller and I videotaped part of it, so be sure to check it out.
Anyway, it’s game time. On team USA, Stephen Zimmerman started the game out solid with a layup, a three pointer, and a couple of blocks. Kelly Oubre was very effective when taking it to the rim and also played very good defense. Ahmed Hill and Carlton Bragg also did very well off the bench for the USA team getting some nice layups and dunks. For team NYC, Rawle Alkins did a
very good job at getting to the rim and finishing while Cheick Diallo was a key factor getting lots of points off of the boards and sticking the ball back in the basket.
However, none of these players were the main storyline at the Big Strick Classic on that Saturday night. The main storyline was on the NYC team, and his name was Isaiah Briscoe. Crossover, crossover, fake left, right, in and out dribble, back up, cross over again, spin around, jump, give a no-look pass and slam dunk! He was amazing out there. After that, every time Briscoe touched
the ball, the crowd would stand up and start cheering, waiting for another incredible move. My brother and I were going insane at the Big Strick Classic when he had the ball. He was doing every single dribble move and fake out you can think of. Crossover, in and out, spin moves, behind the back, between the legs, head fake, drop step, left and right and left again. He had all the right moves and wanted to make sure everyone knew it.
Anyway, it was a close game through the first three quarters. During the fourth quarter, the NYC team started to pull away from the USA led by Briscoe and Diallo. Showcasing their talents, Briscoe rocked the crowd as Diallo rocked the boards. The NYC team won 126-110.
Final stats included Zimmerman with 19 points and 6 rebounds; Oubre scored 22 points; Diallo closed with 21 points, 13 rebounds; and Briscoe had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Also, Carton Bragg ended up with 13 points. In my opinion, these were probably the top five 5 players from Saturday’s NYC vs. USA matchup. Kelly Oubre was named the tournament MVP and it is easy to see why. He has a great shot, can drive hard to the rim, can finish dunks and layups in style, and is a great defender.
My experience at the Big Strick Classic Friday and Saturday was incredible and I hope to go to many more kinds of basketball competitions like this because these guys have so much talent. I had the chance to interview some of the players as well as basketball trainer Sammy Clark, Team Nike Head Coach Bingo. It was one of the best times I have ever had. I have included some highlights from my interviews below and please check out our Photos section on the site.
While at the Classic, I was lucky enough to interview some players and other key
people behind the scenes. I’ve selected a few highlights below:
My question: What NBA players are you most like and why?
Stephen Zimmerman: I am probably like a lot of different players for different reasons, like I have
Tim Duncan’s footwork, but I want to have Blake Griffin’s explosiveness.
Kelly Oubre: A lot of people tell me I play like James Harden because we’re both lefty’s, we both like to get to the rack, shoot treys all the time, so you know I look up to him a whole lot.
Isaiah Briscoe: D-Will and Nick Young. I got a body like D-Will but I have an attitude like Nick Young, the way he carries himself. I look up to him.
Rawle Alkins: I think I play like LeBron James because I can rebound, pass, block shots, play good defense, I play for others.
Ahmed Hill: Russell Westbrook.
Carlton Bragg: Kevin Durant. I like the way he carries himself and I like his style of play. He’s fast, he can dribble and that is what my style is like.
My question: What do you think is the most important quality for a basketball player?
Ahmed Hill: His desire for the game, his heart for the game. It makes you want to compete every day.
Kelly Oubre: Attitude. You can’t go anywhere without having the right attitude. If you have a hard work ethic, you can go far.
Carlton Bragg: Their character. Character brings out a lot about you and lets people know who you really are.
Isaiah Briscoe: Staying focused. Just keep your head straight and listen to your family, they got the best interest, and, just stay level-headed.
Stephen Zimmerman: They need to have a good basketball IQ.
Rawle Alkins: IQ, because you could have all the talent in the world but if you don’t know how to be smart in the way you play the game, then you really can’t do too much. You have to know the game.
Bingo Head Coach of Team Nike
Bingo, Head Coach of Team Nike
Another opportunity I had was to speak with Bingo, the head coach of Team Nike. He told me about how the Big Strick Classic was formed as a way to honor street ball legend, John Strickland. He explained to me how Strickland was one of the greatest street ball players in NYC history and how he personally coached him. He told me that coaching John Strickland was one of the funniest things you can ever do because he had such a great sense of humor. He also said that “it was a pleasure to coach him”.
Thank you to all the players for giving me interviews. It was a great experience for me and I am rooting for all of them! Thank you to Mr. Clark for taking the time to speak with me and sharing his basketball wisdom and insights. I’d like to thank Bingo for taking the time to speak with me and allow me to learn more about John Strickland from someone who knew him well.
A special thanks goes out to the Big Strick Classic organizers Chris and Nadia Richardson, DJ Rocky Bucano, Don Sparks from @BigStrickGame, Bobby Bates and Tone Turner who was great both days.
As always, thanks for reading and if you have a moment, please comment.
Last night, I got a glimpse of the potential future of the NBA. I went to the Big Strick Classic in NYC and saw some of the top high school players in the country. These guys are amazing. They include Stephen Zimmerman, Rawle Alkins, Kelly Oubre, and more. I was lucky enough to interview Zimmerman and Alkins, and some other people involved with the Big Strick program including basketball trainer Sammy Clark, and Bingo, who is head coach of Team Nike and had actually coached Big Strick himself! Like me, this was Bingo’s first time at the Big Strick Classic. I will post more about the interviews tomorrow.
Meeting these players was like looking into the future. It was a fascinating experience. I sat at the top of the bleachers watching two scrimmages and witnessing players making explosive dunks, cool layups, long-range jumpers, and many smooth crossovers and fake outs. I’ve never seen so
many dunks in two games. Stephen Zimmerman , Kelly Oubre and Rawle Alkins were some three players that really floored me! Here are my impressions of these two ballers:
Some other key standout highlights from the Classic included Ladarius Chester’s between the legs alley-oop to himself and two-handed it in the basket, Zimmerman’s fake pass over his defender’s head leaving the guy totally dumbfounded before sinking a three in his face, and a few half court shots from a couple of players prompting many “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd, including me and my brother.
The Big Strick Classic was a great experience for me. I had lots of fun interviewing and meeting the players, many of which will make it to the pros. When they do, I will be able to recall this night with excitement and remind everyone that I predicted the future.
Please comment and let me know your thoughts! Also, check out my photos section of the event!
My name is Mike V. I am an enormous basketball fan. I also am a die-hard Knicks fan. After graduating 5th grade, I started writing this blog at the age of 10 in the summer of 2012.