All-City Classic Recap

On Saturday night, the best high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Philadelphia and New York City squared off in the annual All-City Classic at Ben Franklin High School. Hawk Hill Hardwood was on hand as Shamorie Ponds (pictured), DeAndre Hunter, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, and Charles Brown took the court. A full recap is inside.

Saturday's New York City-Philadelphia All-City Classic saw New York win the 2018 game, Philadelphia take the 2017 game, and New York City steal the 2016 game in the contest's closing seconds. A handful of players really stood out during the night's festivities.

Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree: The 6'9 post from Neumann-Goretti (PA) was arguably the night's overall best performer. Cosby-Roundtree has seen his stock explode recently, and his performance Saturday night backed that up. Syracuse, Villanova, SMU, Temple, St. Joe's, VCU, and more have offered, and that list isn't going to shrink any time soon. Unofficially, Cosby-Roundtree had 25 points, 23 rebounds, and at least 6 blocks in the 2017 game. His impact on the defensive end can't be overstated, as New York essentially stopped going into the paint against him. Offensively, he displayed a growing offensive arsenal. He scored on two hook shots around the rim, knocked down a beautiful baseline 12 footer, was solid from the free throw line, and dunked any and every time he could. His motor never stopped, he played with intensity, and he simply produced. He looked every bit the part of the top 100 recruit Saturday night, and to me solidified himself as the best big man in Philadelphia, regardless of class.

Daron Russell: The 5'9 junior from Imhotep Charter (PA) is about as exciting a playmaker as you're going to find in Philadelphia. In the game's opening minutes, he set the tone, knocking down a three, driving and dishing behind the back to Cosby-Roundtree for a dunk, then hitting a pull-up 15-footer off the bounce. He also provided one of the night's highlight moments when he found himself on the fast-break and jammed home a one-handed dunk. It was clean. And he's not much more than 5'9. Seton Hall, Temple, La Salle, East Carolina, VCU, and more are interested in the dynamic, athletic, shot-making lead guard.

Shamorie Ponds: The 2016 St. John's commit was spectacular on Saturday. He has the reputation, has the hype, and he surpassed both. Ponds has great bounce and wiggle to his game, can stroke it from deep, and is a terrific and creative passer. He took the 2016 game over down the stretch and led the Big Apple to the win. St. John's is getting a point guard who will likely start from day one. He was a pleasure to watch and really lived up to the billing.

Charles Brown: Brown remains St. Joe's lone 2016 commitment at this point. The 6'6 point guard from St. Thomas More (CT) pledged to the Hawks back in May, prior to a terrific month of July that would have seen his stock absolutely explode. On Saturday, Brown showed some flashes. After a slow start, turning it over twice, and missing a shot from deep, he got going. Brown finished with 11 points on 5-7 shooting, including 1-2 from deep. The name of Brown's game is smooth. He moves effortlessly and has great body control, in addition to being a plus-shooter. Brown's highlight moment in the game came when he shot-faked from three and took his man baseline. He rose upto the left of the rim and reversed on the right-hand side, finishing high off the glass. He demonstrated great ability to finish at and abover the rim, even in traffic. Brown needs to, and will, add weight, but he looks like a player that could and should make an impact on Hawk Hill off the bat. In adddition to his offensive skillset, he has the tools to be a terrific defender. He had a block on what should have been the game-saving fast-break dunk, but none of his teammates ran the floor to get the rebound. He has good lateral quickness, quick hands, and outstanding length on the defensive end. Look for him to have a big season at St. Thomas More.

DeAndre Hunter: The 6'7 Friends' Central (PA) wing was terrific on Saturday. Hunter committed to the University of Virginia in September and should be a wonderful fit there. He has a killer mid-range game, plays hard, is incredibly versatile, and showed off athleticism Saturday that I didn't know he had in him. He threw down two monster dunks, in addition to knocking down his patented mid-range jumper and creating for himself off the dribble. Hunter is modest, humble, and just produces. UVA fans will love him.

Koby Thomas: I came into this night's games without ever seeing the 6'6 Imhotep (PA) junior, just knowing his reputation as one of the more athletic players in the region. Well, he certainly is. Thomas had the play of the night when he blew by his defender and dunked all over an NYC defender. Thomas' bounce is out of this world, and his ability to get off the floor in a hurry makes him a really intriguing prospect. His recruitment is still in the early stages, but I think the Hawks absolutely end up taking a long look here. His game needs polish, but 6'6 wings with his bounce don't grow on trees.

A number of familiar faces were in the house too, including current St. Joe's freshman Lamarr Kimble and former St. John's guard Rysheed Jordan.

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