Teaneck, N.J.--With the trendiest hip-hop music blaring in the background, the ABCD senior all-star basketball game was a sight to be seen.
If you've never been to the senior all-star game at adidas ABCD Camp, well, you're depriving yourself of a good time. From a DJ playing the trendiest hip-hop music to a public address announcer doing color commentary and over 20 kids running around in bright yellow kicks playing loose and having fun, this was a good time.
Again, the result of the contest (Black 165, Gold 153) was of little consequence. In fact, they actually had to cut the game short by shortening the quarters in the second half. Why you ask? Because the teams were on pace to break 200 points apiece and the scoreboard simply wasn't rigged to handle that many points.
Good thing there wasn't a column for assists on the board too, because Shaun Livingston would have filled that one up as well.
The 6-7 point guard stole the show and he didn't do it by scoring, that's for sure. He had just six points. Livingston took over the game by taking care of his teammates. He dished out 13 assists and we can remember pretty much every one of them. From the high-degree of difficulty baseline drive with the flip over his shoulder to the standard toss it to J.R. Smith and let him rip off the rim, Livingston was in a giving mood.
We said after the underclass all-star game last year that he was the best point guard in the land and we've never wavered on that. Once again, he made his statement and without disrespecting the other worthy candidates for this honor, he proved his point to everyone in the gym.
The flair he plays the position with is unique. His size at the point and his passing skills are rare in a prospect. He's flashy and efficient all rolled into one.
Livingston wasn't the only person getting his groove on. Dwight Howard erupted like the giant he is. It wasn't so much that he posted great numbers (15 and 9); it was that he did great things. During one stretch he scored three straight buckets over an outstretched Robert Swift. In fact, each shot was a sweet hook shot with the last one being a well-executed one with the left hand.
Among the many intriguing occurrences during the game was Justin Cerasoli's new dribble invention. Impossible to explain and likely even more difficult to replicate, Cerasoli dribbled the ball through his legs at ankle level all the way up the court stopping just short of the arc where he promptly banged home a three-ball. (Editor's Note: Cerasoli is being recruited by Auburn.)
Then there was Glen Davis. "Big Baby" had already worked out his theme music with the DJ before the game started. He would clear out and either miss a jumper or drive to the hoop. Once he hit a wild driving layup against Howard that simply defied the gravity of a 300-plus pound man.
Marshall Brown led all scorers with 24 points. Big Baby chipped in 20 of his own and Josh Smith had 17. Smith was named the MVP for the Black team and Livingston, of course, took home the Gold team honors.
And if you were wondering about Sebastian Telfair and Darius Washington, well there would be no ABCD Camp War, Part II. They were on the same team and Telfair had 16 points and six assists. Washington had 11 points.
Black (165)-- Marshall Brown 24, Glen Davis 20, Josh Smith 17, Sebastian Telfair 16, Roy Bright 15, Darius Washington 11, Justin Cerasoli 11, Robert Swift 10, Shane Foster 10, Dupree Fletcher 10, Arron Afflalo 8, Joakim Noah 6, Glen Dandridge 3, Andre Blatche 2, Gabriel Pruitt 2. Rebounds--Blatche 10. Assists--Telfair 6.
Gold (153)-- J.R. Smith 16, Mike Williams 15, Demarcus Nelson 15, Dwight Howard 15, Tim Pierce 14, Ramel Bradley 13, Randolph Morris 10, Dorell Wright 9, Josh Wright 9, Bryce Taylor 8, C.J. Anderson 6, Cedric Simmons 6, Shaun Livingston 6, Jared Dudley 6, Richard Roby 5. Rebounds ˆ Howard 9. Assists ˆ Livingston 13.
The underclass all-star game at ABCD Camp didn't have quite the same flair it did last year when Sebastian Telfair and Darius Washington didn't pull any punches. It did, however feature some great efforts from guys like Tasmin Mitchell and Brandon Rush.
It was going to be hard to duplicate last year's underclass all-star game. For starters, the game didn't have the same kind of star power that Telfair, Livingston, Howard and Washington brought to the table last year.
Regardless, it was the best young kinds that ABCD had to offer and there were good players on the court. Before we forget, the Gold team defeated the Black team 117-93 but who really cares?
What you need to know is that Brandon Rush (15 points, five rebounds) was the best prospect on the floor. I know, a lot of you are probably shaking your heads wondering why he was in the game. He's a senior, right? Wrong.
Rush has been reclassified as a junior and will attend Mount Zion Christian Academy this fall. The brother of Kareem and Jaron put it all together this week. Form the moment we arrived here he's been terrific. In this game he did everything from finish with flair to finish his jumpers.
He's got Jaron's size and Kareem's scoring package and he's starting to really heat up.
Aside from Rush, Tasmin Mitchell strung together a great effort. He had 15 points in the decisive third quarter and really set the tone for the rest of the game. He finished with 20 points and 12 boards.
As you might have figured from taking a gander at the final score, the kids had fun in this one. So much fun that the game had its lighter moments. For instance, guard Jawan Carter put on a little dribbling exhibition that culminated with him bouncing the rock off Tony Freeman's head. Now Freeman wasn't really jacked up about that part, but again, it was an all-star game and it was all for show.
Here's a look at the boxscore from the game.