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.
Playing Through Family Tragedy, Kentucky-Bound Isaiah Briscoe Thrives at PrimeTime Shootout
BY JEREMY FUCHS
ROSELLE, N.J.– After his second straight dunk towards the end of the fourth quarter, Kentucky-bound guard Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle Catholicflashed an ear-to-ear grin inside his home gymnasium.
Briscoe walked off to the bench, the game now in hand, and received handshakes from assistant coach Tom Sacks and pats on the back from his teammates.
“Just out there having fun,” the 6-foot-3 McDonald’s All-American said after the game.
It had been hard for Briscoe to smile all day, hard for him to have fun, hard for him to focus on the simple game of basketball. A close family friend of Briscoe’s was shot and killed in Newark earlier Saturday morning, but his 13 points in a 70-51 victory over Paterson Eastside in the last game of the PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle Catholic showed the Kentucky-bound star’s impressive maturity.
“Things happen,” Briscoe told SNY.tv after the game without amplifying the specifics of what happened. “He’s in a better place now.”
Roselle coach Dave Boff was impressed with the way his star player handled the tough situation.
“That’s a great game for him,” Boff said after the game. “He stuffed the stat sheet. He had a typical Isaiah game.”
Briscoe was active the whole game, making a few flashy passes and playing active and committed defense. He had a few impressive steals, including one where he leaped up to intercept a pass, looking more like a cornerback than a point guard.
Throughout it all, though, he had bigger things on his mind. But after the game, Briscoe had things in perspective.
“The only thing I can do is go forward,” he said.
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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.