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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Eastern Kentucky-Bound Asante Gist Makes History With Second Tournament of Champions Title
By ADAM ZAGORIATRENTON, N.J. — Asante Gist made history on Monday night.
Of all the players in the history of New Jersey high school basketball, none had ever won the prestigious Tournament of Champions title with two different schools.
Until Gist, that is.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound senior scored a game-best 16 points, including making 4-of-5 from deep, to lead St. Anthony’s to a 55-38 victory over Linden in the TOC final at Sun National Bank Center.
The win completed a perfect 32-0 season for the Friars, who won their 13th TOC title under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley. All other New Jersey schools have combined to win 15 TOCs.
“It feels great,” Gist told SNY.tv. “It’s a great accomplishment for me. I knew that we were going to be a special team before the season even started because of the group of guys that we have. Everyone played hard and together and were like a family and that’s always the key to success. But as far as me yeah it’s a feeling that I can’t even express. I’m just going to enjoy it and let it speak for itself.”
St. Anthony’s completed yet another perfect season despite losing five players 6-foot-7 or taller to injury or transfer. They rolled with a lineup almost entirely of guards. R.J. Cole scored 11 points, Georgetown-bound guard Jagan Mosely had 10 points, 4 steals and 3 assists, guard Idris Joyner had 10 points and guard Juvaris Hayes tallied 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
Khalief Crawford led Linden (25-6 with 13 points and Tavon Jones scored 12.
Gist was a freshman on a Roselle Catholic team that won the Tournament of Champions in 2013 when current Syracuse forward Tyler Roberson was the team’s star, but a year ago he transferred to Marist after current Kentucky freshman Isaiah Briscoe and other guards emerged at RC.
He opted to join the legendary Hurley’s program this season and has come up big in big games.
“I feel as though this is the best situation for me and I should’ve been here, so that’s what it is,” he told me in January after going for 23 points in a 60-56 win over St. Patrick’s.
“In the bigger games during the season, he’s a shot-maker, he’s physically tough,” Hurley said Monday. “It’s been a unique year for both he and I and I think that he ‘s probably learned some things. We’ve both learned some things along the way and he’s a competitive kid. He was a help to us in this game and against Patrick School.”
In November, Gist chose Eastern Kentucky over Miami and Central Florida because of the recruiting pitch of head coach Dan McHale, a former Seton Hall assistant under Kevin Willard.
“Asante will come in right away and be a major part of the culture that we are building at Eastern Kentucky,” McHale told SNY.tv in January. “He is a program-changer that will flourish in my up-tempo system, similar to the way [former New Jersey standout] Jarelle Reischel has this year.”
Meantime, the Georgetown-bound guard Moselywon his final high school game with Hoyas assistants Kevin Broadus and Kevin Sutton on hand.
Due to an injury to forward Kaleb Bishop, Mosely played the four with St. Anthony’s. With the graduation of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, he’s expected to have a key role in the backcourt next year at Georgetown.
“He’ll do anything to help us to win,” Hurley said.
Both Gist and Mosely will play in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game April 15 at Barclays Center.
NAsante Gist made history on Monday night. Of all the players in the history of New Jersey high school basketball, none had ever won the prestigious Tournament of Champions title with two different schools.
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.