Antonio Blakeney Impresses Again at Big Strick Classic | Zagsblog
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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.
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Wednesday / June 19.
  • Antonio Blakeney Impresses Again at Big Strick Classic

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    BlakeneyBy JOHN PAVIA

    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK — Antonio Blakeney has had an incredible summer on the AAU circuit and he put forth another outstanding effort on Saturday at the Big Strick Classic at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx.

    Blakeney, a 6-3 guard from Sarasota (FL) Oak Ridge, tallied 33 points for Team NYC and was recognized as a co-MVP along with Christ the King’s Rawle Atkins in their team’s 137-135 victory over Team USA. He also won the 3-point contest before the game was played. Blakeney was actually born in Watertown, New York, but moved to Florida at the age of 2.

    He listed Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State, Oregon, USC, LSU and Missouri as his final seven schools to SNY.tv on Friday before their workout session. In recent weeks, Blakeney has been under the watchful eyes of Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kentucky’s John Calipari, to name a few, as they continue to make his recruitment a priority, but Blakeney has not planned visits to any schools yet. 

    “All of them just offered me a chance to come in and play early,” Blakeney said. “They were just being completely honest with me that it’s not going to be easy, that you’ve got to come here and you’ve got to work. That’s what I like. I don’t like schools that fill my head up with ‘oh, you’re going to be this, you’re going to be that.’ I want them to tell me what I need to work on and what I’m going to have to do when I get there.”

    Blakeney’s ability to score at a very high rate has been on display constantly this summer and it comes as no surprise that not just schools are trying to recruit him, but teammates as well, like his Each 1 Teach 1 teammate Ben Simmons. Simmons, who is committed to play at LSU and is rated second by ESPN in the Class of 2015, has been actively recruiting Blakeney and power forward Noah Dickerson, according to Randy Rosetta of the The Times-Picayune; Dickerson, who is rated 65th in the Class of 2015 by ESPN, will be joining Simmons at Monteverde Academy (FL) for this upcoming season.

    “I’d say a good situation, a good relationship with the coaches and a history of developing players,” Blakeney said when asked about what he’s looking for in the program that he will commit to.

    Blakeney also discussed what he would take away from the weekend in New York at the Big Strick Classic.

    “I just want to get better and play versus good competition,” he said. “You know, every time you play versus good competition you want to bring your all and just try to show that you’re the best.”

    Blakeney noted that there were a lot of rivalries between players at the event, but that he did not have any himself.

    “I don’t look forward to playing against anyone in particular really. I just play the game.”

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