High School basketball is at an all time high with regard to exposure and interest. Every high school player in the country competing for limited amounts of college scholarships. There isn’t a place better to earn your stripes as a basketball player than the city that never sleeps. New York City has been known to have the best summer basketball action in the country and Nike has partnered up with a few of the best summer leagues to showcase the best High School players in the Tristate area. Dyckman, Gersh, TriState and Watson were the teams competing for NYC superiority as the best league in the city. Each week visiting a new location and giving each team to have a chance at playing on their home court. Each stop on the NY vs NY tour, the buzz grew larger and larger.
Nike and Game 7 Marketing really did a great job putting the tournament together. It allowed basketball fans following the tournament the chance to travel around the city giving basketball fans what they craved for, great basketball. Each venue being one of the gems of New York City, there was no shortage in excitement around the city. Every team was very competitive, putting top high school prospects on the floor every week. The final game of the tournament was held at Dyckman Park in upper Manhattan.
The days festivities included three games including a game that featured The Chosen League out of Philadelphia versus NY Made, a group of Rising stars from the NYC area. The Philadelphia squad came out firing and managed to surprise many of the home teams fans. Led by Eric Dixon‘s 20 points and 5 rebounds, The Chosen League pulled out the victory. Many people were expecting the NY team to get the victory but the Philadelphia team was too strong. Chareef Knox and Yazid Powell both added 10 points each towards the victory while Rheaquone Taylor dropped 15 points for NY Made in the loss. Click on photo below for video of this game from For The Culture Hoops.
The main event would be a championship of the NY vs NY that matched up Gersh Park out of Brooklyn versus the home team Dyckman Park.
Team Dyckman was a very talented squad led by the dynamic duo of Juwaun Daniels and Ja’Quaye James. Daniels, the 6’7 swingman can do a little bit of everything on the court and always comes up with a big play for the very talented Dyckman squad. James, the lightning quick guard can score easily but looks to find open shooters and teammates slashing to the rim. Additionally, Tilquan Rucker added much needed firepower to team Dyckman. He scores in bunches and is dangerous in transition play.
Team Gersh is a scrappy team who relies on forcing turnovers and scoring in transition. Led by Our Savior Lutheran standout Jared Rhoden, team Gersh were active on the defensive end and rebounded well also. Additionally, Keith King and Klay Brown are players who can fill up a stat sheet instantly by playing tough defense and forcing their opponents to make bad decisions. They have the ability to capitalize off mistakes and can erase a deficit with ease. Team Gersh have no ego and just show up to play each week.
The park was jam packed and every media outlet in the city was in attendance. Everybody who was anybody in the basketball world was there to watch the game. Isaiah Washington (University of Minnesota) and Hamidou Diallo (University of Kentucky) strolled around the park taking pictures and soaking up the whole atmosphere. NBA players littered the crowd to watch the action. Chris McCullough (Washington Wizards), DeAngelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets), Scootchie Smith (Boston Celtics) were all there to watch the game. As the players warmed up and the crowd swelled, in walks NBA star Carmelo Anthony (NY Knicks) as the crowd erupted in cheers. We were in for a good game and the atmosphere was as good as being at a game at the Garden. There was a pregame performance by Atlantic recording artist A Boogie that got the crowd even more hyped than they were already.
The highlight of the night for me was Dave “Cha Ching” Teele pulling out a Michael Jackson “Thriller” themed costume to announce the game. He’s known for his costume selection for special occasions and this was one of the best I’ve seen. When asked what made him pull out the MJ costume Teele responded “I gotta separate myself!!! Other announcers are trying to catch me!!!”.
Dyckman came out strong and built a 10 point first half lead led Juwaun Daniels inspiring play. It seemed as if all Dyckman needed to do was make a few stops and they would be on their way towards a blowout victory. Team Gersh stuck around and kept themselves within striking distance by capitalizing off of turnovers. It seemed like Team Dyckman took their foot off the gas for the 2nd half and Gersh took advantage. After regulation the game was tied and would head into a three minute overtime session. With the game winding down and 31 seconds left on clock Dyckman’s Ja’Quaye James missed on a one and one free throw attempt and Team Gersh took advantage of the situation. They came down the court and converted on a layup attempt. Now down 3 points team Dyckman attempted to tie the game on a three point attempt but fell short.
Team Gersh celebrated their victory on Dyckman’s home court and Jared Rhoden was awarded the teams MVP honors as he compiled a pretty good game with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Player of the summer, Juwaun Daniels was the only player from team Dyckman to score in double figures dropping a game high 25 points in the loss. I can’t wait until next year to see Team Gersh defend their championship.
They gave out a few awards for the tournament, and the winners were as follows:
Most Improved: Tilquan Rucker
Coach of the Year: Isaac Gary
Player of the Summer: Juwaun Daniels
congradulations to the award recipients and hope to see the move on to do great things not only on the basketball court but in life as well