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August 25, 2013
BROOKLYN, NY - The 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 summer game was a blowout for a long period of time.
Eventually, the game got a little interesting as Team Coney Island started to mount a comeback. Team Bed-Stuy beat Team Coney Island 114-109. But it usually doesn't matter who wins the game, it's more about what happened during the game.
After going out west to Cali for the last couple of years, the game came back to New York where it started. It's a nice storyline because one of the MVP's in this year's game is from New York.
Isaiah Whitehead, out of Lincoln HS in Brooklyn, definitely put on a show in this game, scoring 26 points and earning one of the four MVP honors. He was hot early in the game, knocking down a number of perimeter jumpers. Whitehead was just getting started. In the second half he showed of more of his arsenal. He hit a step-back jumper, and also swished a baseline fade-away.
That was impressive, but he also pleased the crowd when he went one on one and blew by his defender with a pretty right to left spin that lost his man and followed that with a lay-up. Whitehead knows how to play street ball, going at his man whenever someone decided to take the initiative step up and play him. More times than not, Whitehead won the battle by finishing the shot.
Another player that put on a show was Emmanuel Mudiay from Dallas, TX. He really got things going in the second half of a game that was a 30 point blowout at one point. Mudiay actually committed to SMU at halftime of the game on national TV. Then he came out in the second half and helped lead his team all the way back to within 3 points of Team Bed-Stuy. Mudiay, ranked #3 in the class of 2014, displayed his post game, while also knocking down jumpers while showing off his impressive athleticism. Mudiay was playing on Team Coney Island.
Stanley Johnson was the other player who was voted game MVP. He was also instrumental in helping lead the comeback that fell short for Team Coney Island. Johnson continuously went to the hole with force and finished at the rim constantly. Tyus Jones was the other player on Team Bed-Stuy to take home MVP honors. Mudiay is the only one out of the four who is committed to a school.
New York was represented by two other players, Syracuse commit Chris McCullough and junior center Cheick Diallo. Neither player actually plays their high school ball in the city. Both McCullough and Diallo had their moments in the game. It's a lot harder for big men to dominate because they need the guards to pass them the ball.
It was a pretty good game. The energy in the crowd was real, not canned or phony. If a player wanted a reaction in the game, they had to do something nice. Probably the best play of the game was the spin by Whitehead. It actually got NBA guard Brandon Jennings to run onto the court in excitement. It was that nice.