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.
With Big Strick and Elite 24, Center of Grassroots Hoops Comes to the Big Apple
NEW YORK — After spending July traveling everywhere from South Carolina to Orlando to Las Vegas, many of the top high school basketball players in the nation will now come here this month.
Over the next two weeks, the Big Apple will host two of the most prestigious events of the summer in the Big Strick Classic (Aug. 10) and the Elite 24 (Aug. 24).
As a proud New York City resident, I’m happy to see many of the top players in hoops come to our city to showcase their skills.
Rental cars, hotels and bad food in North Augusta, S.C., are one thing.
Enjoying the food, energy and ambiance of the biggest and best city in the world is something completely different.
Keep in mind that in 2014 New York/New Jersey will also host the Super Bowl (MetLife Stadium) and the NCAA East Regional final (MSG), while in 2015 the NBA All-Star Game could be split between the Garden and the Barclays Center.
Some players, like 2015 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, 2014 6-11 Texas big man Myles Turner of Trinity (TX) Euless and 2014 6-6 Richmond (TX) Bush wing Kelly Oubre will participate in both grassroots events and thus will spend some major time in New York across the next two weeks.
“The places I get to go because of [basketball],” Zimmerman Tweeted after touring Harlem Thursday.
In addition to the stars of Team USA, this year’s New York team features many players looking to defend their home turf in Syracuse commit Chris McCullough, Isaiah Whitehead, Isaiah Briscoe, Terry Larrier and Khadeen Carrington.
The Big Strick will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Gauchos Gym in The Bronx. Admission is free, so get there early if you go.
As my man Eldon from Slam pointed out in this excellent summary of the game, in the past two years, the event has featured Archie Goodwin (Kentucky/Phoenix Suns), Kyle Anderson (UCLA), Andrew and Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Troy Williams (Indiana), Chris Walker (Florida), Omar Calhoun (UConn), Jermaine Lawrence (Cincinnati), Robert Hubbs (Tennesse) and Kuran Iverson (Memphis).
And two weeks from now, the talent will continue to stream into New York for the Elite 24, which returns to the Big Apple — and will be held under the Brooklyn Bridge — after a hiatus on the West Coast.
That game will feature some of the biggest names in high school hoops in Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Stanley Johnson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Malik Newman, Turner and others.
So as Sinatra sang, “Start spreading the news….I am leaving today…I want to be a part of it…New York, New York.”
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.