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.
Here are a few quick notes from tonight’s All-Star Games at the Hoop Group Elite camp at The College of New Jersey…
**Some coaches on hand: Rutgers head coach Fred Hill, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, West Virginia assistant Billy Hahn, Florida Atlantic assistant Mike Jarvis Jr. and Steve DeMeo, now at Central Florida.
**Remember the name Rakeem Christmas. He is a 6-9 rising sophomore from Philly North Catholic and he is an athletic freak. Wears size 17 shoes and Dropped in 16 points for the Blue team to earn MVP honors in a losing effort. White won, 106-99. (Read more at here at maxxathlete.com) Says he has interest from Memphis, Florida, Maryland and Virginia. I’ll be shocked if this kid doesn’t have a ton of offers before long. Check out these video highlights from last December.
**Also remember the name Mouphtaou Yarou (pictured above), a 6-10, 240-pound native of Guinea in West Africa who came to the U.S. in January and is now at Massanutten Military Academy (Va.). Was named Co-Outstanding Player of the NBA East segment of the camp, along with Dalton Pepper. An athletic, mobile big man, he dropped 22 and 12 on UAB commit Demarcus Cousins. He mentioned offers from New Mexico State and Villanova and interest from UCLA and Virginia Tech. Here’s another story on him.
**As reported here yesterday, the 6-5 Pepper, who scored 16 points in a losing effort for the Blue team, lists West Virginia, Temple, Villanova, Wake Forest and Miami as his leaders and says he will decide later this summer. West Virginia’s Billy Hahn was checking Pepper out after Pepper recently visited campus.
**St. Joe’s commit Justin Crosgile of DePaul Catholic in Wayne, NJ, scored 13 points, including 3-of-6 from 3, for the White team.
**Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. Joe’s target Kyrie Irving was named Most Outstanding Prospect in the NBA East and was chosen to the Top 20 All-Star Game. I really like this kid as a player and a person. He is a tremendously poised guard who helped St. Pat’s win the Hoop Group Showcase last month at Rutgers. Pair him with Dexter Strickland in Kevin Boyle’s backcourt, and you can forget about anybody else winning the TOC this year.
**St. Pat’s teammate Markus Kennedy, a 6-8 junior with offers from Villanova, Rutgers and Xavier, was named MVP of the Underclassmen All-Star Game.
**St. Anthony senior big man Jamee Jackson was named MVP of the Senior Game and earned an invite to the Top 20 Game. He lists Siena, Iona, Temple, Clemson, South Carolina and Monmouth as possible destinations, and says he has to be “a leader” next year for Bob Hurley.
NBA EASTMOST OUTSTANDING PLAYERS: Dalton Pepper (Pennsbury HS); Mouphtaou Yarou (Massanutten, Va.)
MOST OUTSTANDING PROSPECT: Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick)
TOP 20 ALL-STAR GAME MVP: Rakeem Christmas (Philadelphia North Catholic)
SENIOR ALL-STAR GAME MVP: Jamee Jackson (Jersey City St. Anthony)
UNDERCLASSMEN ALL-STAR GAME: Markus Kennedy (St. Patrick)
NBA WEST MVP: Evan Croll (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central)
NCAA ALL-STAR GAME MVPs: Tevin Hanner (Baltimore Milford Mill Academy); Savon Goodman (Academy of the New Church)
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.