This is one of the many interviews I still have so there wil be many more posts soon. Thanks for reading and 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.
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.