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.
Irving Drops 37 on Team Final; Pinkston, New Heights Down Grassroots Canada
Kyrie Irving dropped a game-high 37 points and Kevin BoyleJr. had 26 of his 28 in the second half as the New Jersey Celtics downed Team Final 87-84 in OT in the Gold Pool of the 17U Super Showcase in Orlando Fla.
Irving, a 6-2 point guard being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, UConn, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and others, was 20-of-20 from the stripe, according to Alex Schwartz of Northstar Basketball, who is doing a tremendous job Tweeting from Orlando.
Irving hit two free throws with 13.6 seconds for the game’s final points.
A slew of coaches were on hand for the game, including Bill Self (Kansas), John Calipari (Kentucky), Roy Williams (Carolina), Jay Wright (Villanova), Jim Calhoun (UConn) Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Jamie Dixon (Pitt), Derek Kellogg (UMass) John Giannini (La Salle), Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), Bobby Gonzalez (Seton Hall), Fran Dunphy (Temple), Fred Hill (Rutgers), Seth Greenburg (Virginia Tech) and Tony Bennett (Virginia).
The Celtics were basically a collection of Elizabeth St. Patrick players, minus star sophomore Michael Gilchrist, who played with Team Final.
Boyle made six 3-pointers and hit a 30-footer with 4 seconds to go to send the game into overtime.
Chase Plummer added 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Celtics, who earlier in the day downed All-Ohio Red, 57-53.
Trevor Cooney paced Team Final with 21 points and Gilchrist had 12 points and 10 boards. Markus Kennedy, the 6-9 Villanova commit from the Class of 2010, has apparently left Team Final for another AAU outfit.
NEW HEIGHTS DOWNS GRASSROOTS CANADAThirty-two teams were seeded in the adidas Super 64 event in Las Vegas, but New Heights out of New York was not one of them.
“It made us feel disrespected because we are one of the top teams but they thought different,” said New Heights forward Jayvaughn Pinkston of Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin.
Pinkston, a 6-6 combo forward with interest from St. John’s, Marquette, Villanova, UConn, Arizona, Miami, Tennessee, Rutgers and Seton Hall, dropped 19 points as New Heights stunned Grassroots Canada 70-69 Saturday to advance to the Elite Eight of the event.
“Jayvaughn wins you games,” a high-major assistant told Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News.”
Grassroots Canada had been getting major props at the event, especially after blowing out Reggie Rose’s team to the point where Rose took his team off the court.
“It feels good,” Pinkston said by phone. “We all came together as a team.”
David Coley of Thomas Jefferson had 16 points for New Heights, Brandon Frazier scored 13, Harold McBride 12, Ashton Pankey 11 and Devon Collier 10.
Corey Joseph of Findlay (Nev.) Prep led Grassroots Canada with 26 points, Texas-bound guard Myck Kabongo of St. Benedict’s Prep had 16 and Texas-bound forward of Findlay Tristan Thompson 9.
UConn is in early on Andre Drummond, a 6-9, 250-pound center from Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More and is scouting him in Orlando…Remember the name Dominic Morris, a 6-7, 230-pound rising senior forward with interest from schools like Siena and La Salle.
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(Photos courtesy Irving Family, Rivals)
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.