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Saturday / February 23.
  • Lincoln to Play St. Pat’s

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    Lance_courtesy_daily_newsLance Stephenson will be showcased at least once next year on ESPN.

    Stephenson’s Brooklyn Lincoln team will face Dexter Strickland and St. Patrick of Elizabeth sometime in February on ESPN2, according to St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle.

    “We play him on ESPN,” Boyle said by phone from Las Vegas. “They (Lincoln) are also in the City of Palms in Florida. We played against them two years ago (in the PrimeTime Shootout). (Stephenson) had a really good game against us. We were able to win fairly comfortably at Trenton. (Lance) had 40 points or something like that. Lance had a great game. But we got up comfortably and coasted to a double-digit win.”

    A year ago, ESPN and ESPN2 showed 15 high school games, featuring St. Anthony of Jersey City, St. Benedict’s of Newark, St. Patirck, and Lincoln and Rice. Read my story from last December on the business of high school basketball.

    Lincoln was supposed to play Samardo Samuels and St. Benedict’s this past season in Newark, but the game was ultimately cancelled.

    As for the Lincoln-St. Patrick game, it will feature two of the top juniors in the nation in Stephenson and the North Carolina-bound Strickland, both of whom played at the LeBron James Skills Academy last summer.

    The two are also trying out this July for the FIBA Americas U18 championship team that will compete in Formosa, Argentina.

    GilchristIn addition to Stephenson and Strickland, the Lincoln-St. Pat’s game will feature 6-7 freshman Michael Gilchrist of St. Patrick, whom Boyle believes could be a real superstar.

    “I think Gilchrist from what I’ve seen and heard, he’s just getting better and he’s really ready to break out,” said Boyle, whose team won back-to-back New Jersey Tournament of Champions crowns in 2006-07. “He’s going to have a chance to be Top 5 or maybe be the National Player of the Year when he’s done. I think he’ll have a great year.”

    Boyle said Gilchrist has offers from numerous high-major programs, including North Carolina, Michigan State, USC, Memphis, Georgetown, Virginia and Kansas.

    “Anybody who’s come to the gym wants to recruit him,” Boyle said.



    **St. Pat’s will compete in the City of Palms Classic in Fort Meyers, Florida Dec. 18-23, an event that will also feature American Heritage (Fla.), Lincoln, Westchester (Ca.), Mater Dei (Ca.), Arlington Country Day (Fla.) and Wheeler (Ga.).

    **St. Patrick will also play Non-Public B state rival Paterson Catholic in the Beach Ball Classic in December in South Carolina. That should provide a good preview for the state tournament in 2009. PC features five talented sophomores, including forwards Fuquan Edwin and Trevor Clemmings, who hold offers from Rutgers and Seton Hall.

    **The Celtics will take on Oak Hill Academy on Feb. 14 in the PrimeTime Shootout in Trenton.

    **Boyle said he hopes to resume the annual independent battle with Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s squad. St. Ben’s won last year’s showdown at the RAC when Samardo Samuels and Greg Echenique outplayed St. Pat’s big man Quintrell Thomas, headed to Kansas. Boyle had been unbeaten against Bob and Dan Hurley in his last nine games against the Hurleys entering that game.

    **Boyle said senior G Jermel Jenkins needs to get 20 points to improve his test score and become eligible for next season. Fairfield, La Salle and Rider have offered, Boyle said.

    (Photos courtesy Daily News, Scout)

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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.