Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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St. Benedict's Puts Up 120 Points; Kabongo to Join Teammate Thompson at Texas
NEWARK — St. Benedict’s Prep scored a school-record 120 points tonight in a 120-47 beatdown of MCS Charter of Philadelphia.
The Gray Bees, ranked No. 3 in the National Prep Basketball Poll, improved to 14-0 on the season with the win.
Sophomore guard Myck Kabongo scored a career-high 25 points, hitting three 3-pointers, on his 16th birthday. Earlier in the day, the 6-foot-2 Kabongo verbally committed to Texas, where he will ultimately join his St. Benedict’s teammate and fellow Canadian, Tristan Thompson, a 6-8 junior.
Thompson scored 20 points in the rout. Rice-bound guard Tamir Jackson added 22 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and Pitt commit Lamar Patterson added 13 points.
After the game, the team celebrated Kabongo’s birthday by eating cupcakes together in a room off the gym.
Kabongo said he chose Texas over Wake Forest, Kansas, Villanova and other schools because of his connection with head coach Rick Barnes.
“I had a good relationship with Coach Barnes,” he said. “I called other coaches, but I didn’t really feel the connection with them as much as I did with Coach Barnes. Those guys are like family now. I can talk to Coach Barnes about anything.”
Kabongo and Thompson have known each other since growing up together in Canada, Kabongo in Toronto and Thompson in Brampton, Ontario. Now they will forge ahead together in college.
“Obviously, Tristan, too, is a little bit part of my decision,” he said. “I looked at it as, if Tristan’s not there, do I want to go to Texas? And the answer was yes, so it’s like a bonus me going there and playing with my brother Tristan.
“And the style of play fits me perfectly, up-and-down, pick and roll, and they’re known to get their point guards ready for the next level, D.J. Augustin and T.J. Ford, so that was a big part of the decision, too.”
ST. BENEDICT’S NOTES**Speaking of St. Ben’s, former Gray Bee Samardo Samuels had 18 points and 6 rebounds as No. 20 Louisville downed No. 13 Notre Dame, 87-73, Monday night.
**St. Ben’s faces Linden on Saturday in the Dan Finn Classic before taking on Wheeler (Ga.) on Monday at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. That game will be televised on ESPNU.
**Some 600 tickets have been sold for the Newark National Invitational Jan. 24 at the Prudential Center in Newark. The event features six games, including Lance Stephenson and Brooklyn Lincoln taking on the Gray Bees at 6:30 p.m. That game will be shown Sunday morning on MSG+ as the Game of the Week. ESPN Radio will also broadcast the day’s slate.
**St. Ben’s meets Jersey rival St. Patrick and North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland Feb. 4 at Rutgers.
**St. Ben’s will compete in the Maui Christmas Classic in 2009. I think I’ll have to find a way to cover that event.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.