In the end, it was a talented bunch youngsters from Washington, D.C., that won out. In an overtime game, D.C. Assault best the Playaz as DeMatha standout wing man Austin Freeman went for 26 points.
You can't begin to talk about D.C. Assault without mentioning Class of 2007 studs Michael Beasley and Nolan Smith, both of whom, according to Salmon, also played extremely well during the 3-day event.
Freeman doesn't have the kind of national reputation that Beasley and Smith carry, but the play of this 2007 standout opened a lot of eyes. "I had never heard of Austin Freeman before yesterday," Salmon said. "He was really big time."
By all accounts, Ellington and backcourt mate Gerald Henderson lived up to their extreme billing and then some, before finally dropping the final game of the event. Teammate Corey Stokes, another 2007 stud from St. Benedict's, was also outstanding.
"Corey Stokes was tremendous," Salmon said. "He was shooting NBA 3s like they were layups."
Overall, Salmon felt that the Playaz Spring Fling was loaded with maybe its best talent ever. "If I see another game this year as good as our championship, I'd be shocked. In that game we had probably like 9 future pros. It was some high-major stuff going on our there."
In the surprise category, Salmon said current senior Wellington Smith deserves mention. Smith, a 6-foot-6 small forward, will do a 5th year next season.
"He was tremendous. I think he had 17 [points] in every game, but he had a dunk over Michael Beasley that is one for the ages. It was a big time dunk and he probably shot 50% from 3 for the tournament. After the end of April he'll no longer be a secret." Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and West Virginia are recruiting Smith.
As a team, Bingo's All-Stars impressed Salmon. "Bingo's is going to be a surprise team on the circuit this year," Salmon said. "They've got some New York shooters."