October 2016 | Page 8 of 22 | 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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Sunday / September 20.
  • NEW YORK — After scoring 27 points and winning the MVP award at the Sharette Dixon Classic on Saturday night at the Gauchos Gym, Isaiah Washington was trailed by a small army of young boys who thrust their phones into his hand one by one.

    The younger boys were all awed by Washington’s highlight-reel performance in the game and wanted his cell phone number.

    One at a time, Washington took the phones and entered his digits, all while giving an interview to a reporter.

    “It’s a big accomplishment [to win MVP],” Washington, a senior at St. Raymond’s in The Bronx, said after leading the New York Upperclassmen to a 103-92 victory over the New Jersey Upperclassmen. “A lot of great players have played in here, and I just wanted to show I’m one of the best players here.”

    He added: “If it wasn’t for these people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

    Duke hosted a trio of bigtime Class of 2017 targets on Saturday night for “Countdown to Craziness” in point guard Matt Coleman, shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. and big man Wendell Carter Jr. All three went and sat with the Cameron Crazies at one point.

    The 6-foot-5 Trent Jr., out of Prolific Prep (CA), and the 6-10 Carter Jr., out of Pace Academy (GA), have long talked about a possible package deal.

    “A package deal is still the plan,” Carter Jr. told ZAGSBLOG this summer at the Adidas Nations event here, reiterating comments Trent Jr. made earlier this month at Peach Jam.

    NEW YORK — Saturday was an especially long day for Jahvon Quinerly.

    The 6-foot-1 Class of 2018 point guard played in the Nike IS8 event early in the day in New York, ultimately winning the championship alongside Hudson Catholic teammate Luther Muhammad and their NorthEast basketball teammates.

    Quinerly then moved on to the Gauchos Gym where he scored 17 points as the New Jersey Upperclassmen lost to the New York Upperclassman, 103-92, in the Sharette Dixon Classic.

    “It was actually my first time playing IS8 ever, so it was a packed gym in a little gym so it was a good experience,” he told me.

    NEW YORK — Nick Richards tripped to Kentucky for the second time in a month last weekend for Big Blue Madness and still ranks the Wildcats among those at the top of his college wish list.

    “It was good, I liked it,” the 6-foot-11 Richards told me before scoring 10 points and winning the Sportsmanship Award as the New Jersey Upperclassmen lost to the New York Upperclasssmen, 103-92, in the Sharette Dixon Classic at Gauchos Gym. “It was a nice experience.”

    He added: “It was like a family-type thing. Everybody treats each other like family. I just like the whole vibe, even the coaches.”

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the team opted to keep former Wichita State standout Ron Baker over former Stanford guard Chasson Randle, who is out a month with an orbital bone fracture.

    The Knicks ate $100,000 of guaranteed money to Randle, but sound like they hope he will remain with the Westchester Knicks D-League team. Still, Randle is a free agent and could opt to play for another team if he’s signed, or play overseas.

    “Well, we liked those guys we had to waive,” Hornacek said Saturday. “It’s a tough thing to do. All these guys are capable players. We have to look at our roster and see the different balance that we have. Chasson, he’s done a great job for us. We hope all these guys get other jobs and other teams pick them up, but our hope is if he doesn’t go to another team he stays with our organization. We really liked what he did for us. “

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — In his first public comments since he was found not liable in Los Angeles in his civil trial for gang rape on Wednesday, a relieved Derrick Rose said he’s praying for everyone who was involved in the case and that he’s confident and motivated going forward.

    After he missed two weeks of the preseason and five of six preseason games, Rose and the Knicks are set to open the regular season on Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron James and the reigning NBA champion Cavaliers.

    “Oh man, it feel like heaven to be out there, man,” Rose said after practice on Saturday, his first since leaving for L.A. from Houston on Oct 5. “I got through my little situation but I’m happy to be focusing on nothing but basketball right now.”