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.
LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – The Juice All-Stars and the New York Panthers were the big winners at the Reebok Summer Classic East at Rider University.
Juice downed the New Jersey ShoreShots, 75-70, in the U17 final behind 18 points apiece from Lincoln’s James Padgett and Curtis Loving of Wadleigh. Keith Spellman of Jefferson added 15 points.
Chazz Williams, a Hofstra-bound point guard out of Bishop Ford (NY), scored 13 of his 19 in the second half for the ShoreShots.
“It was fun, it was tough,” Spellman said. “It feels real good to show everybody that we could be tough with only six players.”
The other three Juice players were David Coley, Vincent Council and Darwin “Buddha” Ellis.
“It was great for the kids that played,” said Juice and Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton. “We only had six guys because two guys got hurt and one guy didn’t go show up.”
This was the third victory this year for Juice, which also won the Hoop Group Classic at Providence and the GBOA event in New York.
In the 16U final, the Panthers, who were coached by Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston, downed Team NJABC, 65-58.
“Rafer did a heck of a job,” said Gary Charles, head of the Panthers program. “He wanted to do a younger team and work with them for two years. He picked these kids up. He went and got the van. I’ve been really impressed with the fact that he hasn’t tried to big-time anyone and the kids really love him. If you can’t listen to an NBA guy, who are you going to listen to?”
Chris Hampton of Our Savior New American paced the Panthers with 15 points, Barry Posey of Transit Tech scored 14 and Kamil Parzyck of Lindenhurst High in Long Island added 13 points.
The 16U Panthers were actually disbanded in April because “they weren’t playing well at all,” Charles said. “They looked disorganized. Then Rafer came into the picture and he started practicing with them, and it looked like a different team.”
Markus Kennedy, a 6-8 junior from St. Patrick of Elizabeth, led Team NJABC with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Junior point guard Dondre Whitmore of Trenton Catholic added 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior combo guard Steve Rennard from St. Joe’s of Metuchen tallied 11 points.
**Fordham-bound wing Lance Brown of the New Jersey Shoreshots dropped 30 on the Playaz in the quarterfinals. Great job by Fordham assistant Jared Grasso recruiting Brown, a smart, strong, athletic 6-3 junior wing out of Paterson Catholic. One of the top young assistants in the Metro area, Grasso also brought in St. Anthony point guard Jio Fontan, who will get the ball from Day One, and Friars teammate Alberto Estwick, as well as 09 big man Chris Gaston of St. Benedict’s Prep.
(Photo courtesy Jay Gomes/NJhoops.com)
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.