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 Beats Team USA in Big Strick Behind Diallo, Briscoe & Whitehead
By DERREL JOHNSON Special to ZAGSBLOGNEW YORK — The Third Annual Big Strick Classic took place at the legendary Gauchos Gymnasium in the Bronx on Saturday.
The classic is a showcase of top high school basketball stars and is named after street ball legend John “Franchise” Strickland. After trailing by 10 points in the third period, Team New York City exploded for 50 big points in the fourth on their way to a 126-110 victory.
Uncommitted 2014 Houston Hoops wing Kelly Oubre of Team USA — who recently cut his college list to eight schools — was named MVP after scoring 22 points and handing out seven assists in the loss.
Our Savior New American big man Cheick Diallo led the way for Team NYC by scoring 16 of his 21 points in the second half to go with 13 rebounds. As Scarberry Media pointed out in this great summary, Diallo holds offers from UConn, Kansas, Louisville, Syracuse, Texas, and Villanova and more.
Syracuse pledge Chris McCullough added 19 points and seven boards, and uncommitted 2015 forward Thomas Bryant added 15 points and six rebounds.
Isaiah Briscoe , who just transferred to Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, tallied 11 points, six assists and five rebounds in the win and continuously received the greatest ovation from the crowd on the night as his dribbling dazzled onlookers and befuddled defenders.
Uncommitted Brooklyn Lincoln guard Isaiah Whitehead added 13 points and three rebounds in the win, while winning the 3-Point Contest.
Time after time, Briscoe broke down the defender, and either nailed a jumper or made a no-look pass for an open layup or dunk. At one point, he was double-teamed above the three-point line to get the ball out of his hands.
“It felt great,” Briscoe told SNY.tv. “It just kept my confidence going…This is what they came to see.”
The Emcee for the game Cha-Ching nicknamed Briscoe “Must-See-TV” and demanded the ball go to Briscoe on numerous occasions as the crowd rejoiced with his fakes, dribbling, and shooting.
The 6-8 Diallo defended Las Vegas 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman, who is ranked as the best player by many in the Class of 2015 and finished with 19 points and seven boards
“I just want to be unstoppable, Diallo told SNY.tv. “I want to improve my shot and ball handling.”
Before the game, Whitehead won the 3-Point Shooting contest.
After advancing to the second round with the highest first-round total, the Lincoln High School star hit his first seven shots in the final round, leaving little doubt to who would walk away as the winner.
Whitehead, who says he will decide in November and recently added an offer from Indiana, was happy to get a win in year three.
“It felt great [to get the win,” he said. “We lost the last two.”
Whitehead is modeling himself after Indiana Pacers guard and former Lincoln star Lance Stephenson.
“Just to see him do well makes me feel great,” Whitehead said.
“He pushed through and now he is a great player in the league.”
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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.