In the recent AAU Tournament in Hampton Virginia, Marquie Cooke and his team Boo Williams were matched up against California Elite. Elite featured two great guards, DeMarcus Nelson and Enrico Tucker. Both players are tremendous defensive players and the pair has the ability to explode on the offensive end. Nelson had the assignment of guarding Cooke for most of the night.
Marquie had another idea in mind however. On the very next play, he took the inlet pass from out of bounds and showed a speed he had not shown the whole game. He took the ball the full length of the court and launched from just beyond the foul line to finish off his own electrifying dunk. A statement was made to Nelson and the crowd. Marquie Cooke will not be out done.
Cooke's high school coach from Nanesmond River, Franklin Chatman, was in attendance at the tournament. I asked him about what that said about Marquie. "He does not want people to out do him. That's the way he is." Cooke had proved a point. While his team was outmatched, he held his own against a player that many feel is the best athlete in the class of 2004. He shot 50% from the field scoring 22 points while dishing out 3 assists. Nelson shot 52% for 23 points and had one assist. Boo lost the game because of lesser talent 80-67, but Marquie had just played one of the best players in the nation to a draw. He was not out done.
That competitive element of Cooke's demeanor along with his physical tools he brings to the position of point guard continues to have the college coaches ringing Coach Chatman's phone. "Georgetown has gotten back into it along with NC State, Virginia Tech, UNC-Charlotte, Virginia and Florida State. NC State and Virginia are after him hard and I would say they are out front. We are trying to let Marquie get to know the teams that are recruiting him and we try to provide guidance and advice."
The original plan was to try to get Cooke on a couple official visits this spring. However, that is not the priority for now. "Right now, Marquie is working on the SOL (Virginia's Standard of Learning test). He needs that to graduate next year. He will probably take only one visit before summer."
Besides the busy AAU spring schedule, Marquie also has a few summer plans that include a major feature story for one of the more prominent hoops magazines. "He will attend the Nike camp and the Olympic Festival. He also will be at the NBA camp in Richmond. Slam Magazine did a feature story on him also. It will be in next month's issue."
Nansemond lost in the second round of the Virginia State Champions. Cooke averaged 24 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals for the season. Nanesmond should be tough again next year as they return Marquie and 3 other starters off a 24-3 team.
DeMarcus Nelson vs Boo Williams
Marquie Cooke vs California Elite