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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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Friday / January 19.
  • Lance, Panthers Win is8 Title; All-Tourney Teams

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    Lance Stephenson scored a game-high 25 points to lead the New York Panthers to a 76-65 victory over the Playaz Sophomores in the title game of the 2009 Is8/Nike Spring High School Classic in Queens, N.Y.

    “I just wanted to win, so I did whatever I do to win,” Stephenson told “I’m happy we won and we played hard, that’s what we want.”

    Arizona-bound wing Kevin Parrom added 14 points and Hofstra commit Chaz Williams scored eight.

    “Anytime you win a championship it always feels good,” Panthers coach Gary Charles said. “As a freshman, Lance had won a championship with Danny Green. Now right before he takes off to go to college he wins another one with us so it’s a special feeling.

    “I have a special place in my heart for Omari Lawrence and Kevin Parrom. When we got together we always said we wanted to win an is8 championship,” Charles said.

    Myles Davis of St. Peter’s Prep paced the Playaz with 23 points, Paterson Catholic guard Myles Mack added 15 and Vaughn Gray tallied eight.

    Davis and Stephenson were named Co-MVPs.

    Next up for Stephenson is his court date on Tuesday.

    After that, he is expected to address his college situation, with Arizona and Memphis both involved.

    “It was fun, I ain’t played with them in a long time, but I’m happy to win with them and just go have fun,” Stephenson told NYCHoops. “I’m going to miss [playing AAU] a lot, but I’m going off to college and trying to find a good team to play with and win just like I’m doing now.”


    Player of the Year – Jayvaughn Pinkston – New Heights Jrs.

    Freshmen of the Year – Kyle Anderson – Playaz Sophomores

    1st Team

    Jaylen Bond  – East Coast Elite
    Lance Stephenson – Panthers
    Brian Oliver – Playaz Srs.
    Myles Mack – PLayaz Sophomores
    Brandon Triche – NY Elite

    2nd Team

    George Beamon – Lightning Silverstein
    Isiah Stokley – RISE
    Myles Davis – Playaz Sophomores
    Kevin Parrom – Panthers
    Chaz Williams – Panthers

    3rd Team

    Jermaine Sanders – New Heights Sophomores
    Ashton Pankey – New Heights Jrs.
    Rakeem Brookins – R.A.I.D.E.R.S.
    J.P. Kambola – NY Elite
    Derrick Randall – Playaz Sophomores

    Written by

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    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.

    • I hope he lands at Arizona. The Zona Zoo want him here! This guy is going to be the best player from the 2009 recruiting class. “Give Lance A Chance”!

    • This guy Lance needs to decide where he is going.

      Any team as of now has a chance in landing him.
      If he goes to Zona that would be nice, but still hopes he comes to Maryland.

    • I will be very surprised if Lance doesn’t go to Arizona. It just makes the most sense for both parties.

    • The best player from the 2009 recruiting class?

      Come on now. cousins, henry, wall, bradley are all way better brotha.

    • AZ,

      Whatz your prediction?

      Arizona ia a 80% favorite over the little -no one wants to go to- Tigers program….

      Would you say tha Lance will announce by this time next week.

      The trial should end on Friday.
      Weekend discussions with Arizona and Book.

      Maybe a SUNDAY announcement…..


      • Isn’t Arizona in big trouble with the NCAA? Why would any big time recruit want to go there and be on probation? By the way Memphis has had a new head coach for about 5 weeks now and is in on all 3 top remaining players. Josh Pastner will have Memphis back in the Final 4 hunt again within 3 years if not sooner.

        • Ummm, well lets see… what to say to this comment… what to say.

          Well, for starters there was never even the potential for a “major” NCAA violation. A letter was drafted from the office of Lute Olson which asked boosters to donate to the Cactus Classic, an aau tournament held at McKale center on the UofA campus. This is a no-no by NCAA guidelines. However, because nothing ever came of it (nobody donated to the event after the letter was promptly withdrawn) then at absolute worst it would be a minor violation with no chance of scholarships being taken.

          Secondly, in case you are not aware Josh Pastner is about as much of an Arizona Wildcat as anyone who’s ever gone to school in Tucson. He would die for that school and the only reason that he left last year is because he can’t get the head job there without some outside experience. After four years of “playing” as a walk on he then spent the next 6 years as an assistant. In other words… dissing the UofA and then praising Josh in the same paragraph is downright ludicrous. Any success that Josh has at Memphis is a direct result of the knowledge he gained under Lute Olson and the Arizona Wildcats.

          So allow me to show you how it should be done:

          Best of luck to Josh and the Memphis Tigers. I hope you continue to dominate Conference USA and move far into the tournament. I really hope that Lance Stephenson chooses the UofA, but if he ends up in Memphis it just goes to show how great of a recruiter Josh Pastner really is.

          It’s called class. You should look into it.

          • Yes we here in Memphis are well aware that Josh was an assistant under Lute Olsen for 6 years and an assistant here for one year.We also know he left Arizona for Memphis because he saw the handwriting on the wall with both the coaching situation in flux and the pending NCAA investigation. If it’s only a minor violation then that’s good for Arizona but that’s not what we are hearing here and I don’t think it has been investigated yet has it? What I can tell you Josh has embraced this community and is absolutely thrilled to be the head coach of the U of Memphis and we are happy to have him.Unlike our last coach he is not looking for his dream job because he thinks he already has it here in Memphis.We here at Memphis think that our basketball history is pretty darn good and even though we have not won a National Championship we have knocked at the door for a long time and anybody who watched the National Championship game 2 years ago knows that we were the better team. I don’t have a problem with Arizona.You have had great program especially under Lute Olson but much like our program it’s time to move on and re-establish ourselves under new coaches.Good luck to you and the Wildcats.