BAB Challenge Standouts
NYC’s public and catholic leagues go at it.
by Franklyn Calle
Some of the best schools in New York City clashed this past weekend at the 7th annual Big Apple Basketball Challenge. The event featured some of the best public and catholic high schools from around the five boroughs as they battled it out with bragging rights on the line as to which league is the strongest. The catholic league has been the dominant association for the majority of the event’s existence, with the public school league only having won the 2005 series. This year would be no different as the CHSAA (Catholic High School Athletic Association) would take three of the five games, and improve the CHSAA’s overall record to 38-22 over the PSAL (Public School Athletic Association).
Although a couple of the nationally ranked teams from NYC were out of town at other events, such as Christ the King in Florida and Rice in New Jersey, the competition was still as good as New Yorkers have become accustomed to watching over the years. In the stands sat assistants from George Mason, St. John’s, and Hofstra, among dozens of other college coaches.
Over the last few years, the BAB Challenge has featured the likes of Indiana Pacers wing Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Lakers forward Devin Ebanks, UConn guard Kemba Walker, West Virginia guard Darryl Bryant, and Florida guard Erving Walker, among others.
This year’s event saw Cardinal Hayes from the Bronx upset their borough rivals Wings Academy in a 45-42 thriller, followed by a 62-59 overtime win for St. Mary’s of Staten Island against Wadleigh of Harlem. Bishop Loughlin showcased a new group of talent after basically losing its entire roster during the offseason, including McDonald’s All American Jayvaughn Pinkston.
Below are some of the players that caught my atention, not necessarily the top scorers, but just some of the guys that showed promising talent.
Tyquan Goodlett, 6-3, Guard, Thomas Jefferson, 2011
His quick first step allowed him to get free and create plays for his teammates. Goodlet showed some good ball-handling skills and did a nice job in constantly switching directions and keeping the defense on its toes. In transition, he did a great job pushing the ball and looking ahead for outlet passes.
Thaddeus Hall, 6-3, Guard, Thomas Jefferson, 2012
Hall can push it at any time. He does a great job acquiring space and getting good looks. The junior guard is good with the rock in transition and attacking the basket aggressively. Hall handles the ball well and is always in control. His game possesses lots of versatility and upside.
Raymond DelaCruz, 6-2, Guard, All Hallows, 2011
This 6-2 senior also showed he had game. It didn’t take long to notice he had a nice shooting stroke from behind the perimeter. Although Delacruz wasn’t the top scorer in the game, he showed the ability of choosing shots effectively and knowing the right time to give up the rock.
Geoffrey Tolentino, 6-3, Guard/Forward, All Hallows, 2011
Although Tolentino would get injured in the second half, in what apparently seemed like a sprained ankle, he had an impressive outing on the floor. He possesses a strong body physique. In addition, he showed glimpses of being an explosive player and did a good job working the triple-threat. A very effective first step, Tolentino’s athleticism and strength can allow for him to get high quality shots, as we all help stay in front on the defensive end.
Davontay Grace (left), 6-1, Guard, Thomas Jefferson, 2011
Once a St. John’s commit, Grace is now signed to Manhattan College. The guard has the body frame of a football player and it clearly shows an advantage over other high school guards. He uses his strength to overpower defenders on his way to the rim or to get himself open. He has some explosiveness in his game and can knock down jumpers if left open.
Darrel Lucky, 5-10, Guard, Paul Robeson, 2011
You typical New York City guard, Lucky is an aggressive guard that puts the pressure on his opponent. He is lightening-quick and possesses a nice change-of-pace game. He’s a slasher and can blow by the defense easily. Lucky is very explosive off the dribble and is very effective in losing the defense at times when switching directions. He can catch on fire from the perimeter and is very confident in going to the basket and finishing on guys that are bigger than him.
Davonte Dunham, 6-4, Guard, Bishop Loughlin, 2011
He will be Loughlin’s go-to-guy this season after losing All-American and current Villanova forward Jayvaughn Pinkston. For a while he was the only one doing all the scoring for Loughlin. He possesses great aggressiveness and confidence. Dunham can knock down the three-ball. He has a great feel for the game. When on attack mode, he was terrific in shielding the ball and being under control on his way to the hole. The senior guard can finish at the basket with an array of moves. Look for him to get some looks this winter.
Khadeen Carrington, 6-3, Guard, Bishop Loughlin, 2014
He was definitely a big surprise for me. I usually don’t like writing about freshmen since they’re usually too young to really get a good evaluation in, but that’s unless they show some very promising stuff. And that’s just what Carrington did. He was very quick, agile and slick. I’m not sure if there was anyone on the floor that could stay in front of him for too long. Despite being a newbie, he showed the confidence of a senior. Carrington slashed to the basket and did a good job switching hands and finishing at the basket with some acrobatic moves. The kid can definitely turn out to be a special player in New York City.
On another note:
Big Apple Basketball is offering a holiday workout session for all players on Sunday, December 26 at Baruch College in Manhattan. The session is $30 and will take place at 12pm.
The training session is geared for players out of school for the holidays, who want to stay sharp and get better during the break. The 2-hour training session will cover a variety of areas of basketball skill development, conditioning and plyometric training.
For more information and to register, please email email@example.com with your name and telephone number or call (718)575-3342 and please leave a voicemail with your contact information and a BAB coach will contact you shortly.