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.
NEW YORK –– After his unofficial visit to UCLA last week, Kyle Anderson studied tape of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and is now working on perfecting his sky hook.
The 6-foot-8 Anderson busted out a 6-foot sky hook as he and UConn-bound Omar Calhoun combined for 62 points to lead Team New York to a 146-138 victory over Team USA in the inaugural Franchise Classic at the South Bronx Job Corps.
“It’s something I’ve been working on,” Anderson, who finished with 28 points, told SNY.tv. “Being at UCLA, watching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I watched the highlights of him.”
The 6-3 Calhoun scored 26 of his team-high 34 points in the second half, when Team New York stormed back from a 73-64 halftime deficit.
Asked what his strategy was in helping to take the game over in the second half, Anderson said: “Honestly, get Omar the ball. He was hot so you had to get Omar the ball somehow.”
Uncommitted senior guard Archie Goodwin, who recently trimmed his list to eight schools, led all scorers with 46 points for Team USA and did a little verbal sparring with Lincoln rising sophomore Isaiah Whitehead (16 points).
Shaq Goodwin, an uncommitted 6-8 big man who wants to play football and hoops in college, added 31 points for Team USA, 6-9 junior Chris Walker scored 18 and Ole Miss commit Martavious Newby tallied 17.
Villanova-bound Savon Goodman added 26 pointers for the winners.
Team USA had just seven players, while Team New York had 11, including two Philly-based players in Goodman and guard Daiquan Walker.
“New York players are tough,” Anderson said. “A lot of people think that we can’t compete with the rest of the country, but we just showed it right now.”
Calhoun struggled to score just eight points before the break but Anderson found a rhythm with Calhoun and Goodman in the second half.
“I think Kyle took over,” Calhoun said. “He’s 6-8, real smart point guard. Kyle kind of took over with his court vision. Him and Savon, they were doing it.”
Anderson is due to announce Sept. 20 for Seton Hall, St. John’s, Georgetown, Florida or UCLA.
If this performance was any indication, he certainly enjoys playing under the spotlight in the Big Apple.
“Yeah, I love it,” he said.
Anderson took an unofficial to UCLA last week along with Shaq Goodwin, Shabazz Muhammad, the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2012, and UCLA pledge Jordan Adams.
“I’ve been there two times before,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t really nothing new that I saw. We just watched film and spoke to Coach [Ben] Howland, went to go see everybody again. It was cool.”
Asked if he and Muhammad talked about potentially teaming up at UCLA, Anderson said, “Yeah, we do, but that’s pretty much everybody in the country. Everybody talks about playing together at all these different camps and stuff.”
Anderson ended his summer by winning the Desert Duel in Arizona and the End of Summer Classic with the Playaz Basketball Club.
“Just winning in July is something I’ve been used to,” he said.
Now he plans to relax in August and play some streetball events.
He will likely take unofficials to St. John’s, Seton Hall and Georgetown before the Florida visit Sept. 16.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I have to talk about that with my family, when we’re going to do that.”
Asked if was looking forward to the process coming to end, he said, “Yeah, I am. I can’t wait for it to be finished with.”
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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.