(all photos were taken by: David White)
The future is now. Some of the most elite high school ballers was in Brooklyn competing against one another in a sold out crowd where the Brooklyn Nets play host at known as the Barclays Center. “NEXTvsNEXT” is the motto but the way these ballers looked, it’s obviously they got now. Granted, fans were disappointed that the biggest high school star today, Zion Williamson was in attendance but wasn’t able to play due to the hand injury he suffered at the McDonald’s All American game.
But Jordan Brand athlete and Hall of Famer inductee Ray Allen was in the building to become witnesses of greats such as Cam Reddish, Bol Bol, Shareef O’Neal and Nassir Little put on a show. The sanctioned all star game was another piece of platform to give college fans a heads up of what these diaper dandies will be bringing to the table once they step on campus.
The White squad was able to pull away in a high octane, fairly competitive matchup with the score of 146-136. Leading the way was LSU bound forward Emmitt Williams, who in fact had a legendary performance. The 6″6 Florida native can etch his name amongst the past greats who participated in the game by setting a new Jordan Brand Classic scoring record. Williams finished with 44 points and 7 rebounds. Talk about monster dunk after monster dunk. Midrange jumpers sinking in. Emmitt was able to show everyone why he’s been flying under the radar and why LSU was so big on this kid.
Meanwhile, there were sneak previews of what to expect during rivalry week next year as two talented phenoms when at it against one another in Cam Reddish and Nassir Little. Reddish, who is attending Duke next year was putting on a ball handling and shooting clinic on Little, the Tar Heel bound talent. Little was able to answer back thanks to powerful drives to the bucket which ended in monster jams.
Shareef O’Neal had a solid showing in Brooklyn as he was able to make his pops proud. As you may know, the son of Shaquille O’Neal recently decommited from Arizona to sign with UCLA thanks to the FBI investigation with the Wildcats head coach. Shareef showed UCLA fans what to expect from him as he was able to knock down some mid range jumpers, show solid ball handling skills at his size and great elusiveness around the rim.
Another NBA great’s son had a superb showing as well as O’Neal. Bol Bol, the son of Manute Bol scored 22 points while grabbing 9 rebounds. His 7-2 frame will provide his competition nightmares in the Pac 12 as Oregon is ready to go on a deep tournament run next year. High flyer Coby White was able to display his bounce around the rim along with his quickness to get up the floor with the ball. As the game went on, the defense was able to heat up. In the end, the white squad was victorious as Williams & Little was Co-MVP winners.
After the game, RESPECT Magazine was able to catch up with future of hoops as each baller was able to give their take about their experience being in Brooklyn and hooping in the Jordan Brand Classic. In addition, some talked about recruiting process and what fans should expect once they step on campus.
Emmit Williams: “It was a blessing. I would like to thank everyone who never gave up on me and who believed me from the start. I also want to thank the other guys on the team. They noticed I can break the record and they wanted me to set it. There’s a lot of people on earth who cared about each other. I love each and every player of my class. I want people to know that to never give up because you never know what God has planned for you.”
Cam Reddish: “I’ve been out here a few times. I know what to expect whenever I come out here. Overall it was fun. Me and Nas was going at it. We had the crowd going wild. Obviously I’m going to be playing against him next year so I’m looking forward to that.”
Continues about being apart of arguably
the greatest recruiting class in Duke history. (RJ Barrett -#1 in ESPN Top 100, Zion Williamson #2 in ESPN Top 100, Cam Reddish #3 in ESPN Top 100, Tre Jones- #12 in ESPN Top 100)
“It feels great. It feels even better to be receive the opportunity to play with a group of guys that’s already there to experience success there. The other three guys are real humble and we all just regular guys at the end of the day. That’s what I like about all of them.
Shareef O’neal on his process de committing from Arizona to UCLA.
“It was starting to go downhill and I had to make a decision for me. My parents didn’t tell me anything and I actually informed them that I’m going to make the decision on my own and I did it. I wanted to stay home so my grandma and all of my family can watch me play. I was talking to UCLA a little bit after the situation at Arizona happened. They was actually my second choice when I was choosing Arizona but stuff happens so I had to switch. A lot of people didn’t like it. A lot of people loved it. It was just something I wanted to do. I chose what my heart told me to do and I stuck with that”.
Last night, the world was able to become witnesses of the future of basketball. Hoop fans, be ready for another magical season.