On March 29th, the biggest names in high school basketball faced off in an epic East vs. West showdown. The game consisted solely of seniors- many of whom have already signed their letters of intent to play college ball. The West in the end was able to pull away for a deserved 109-107 victory. The East was led by big man and Harlem native Mohamed Bamba. The lanky center shot 70% from the field and put up a game high of 17 points. Bamba is still undecided on where he will play next year, though he was narrowed his list down to four schools: Michigan, Duke, Kentucky and Texas. Some other notable performers for the East include Western Kentucky commit Mitchell Robinson who had 14 points on 7-9 shooting and Duke commit Wendell Carter, whose grit and fundamentals in the paint helped the East to dominate that area of the floor for stretches throughout the contest. MVP honors went to the West’s Michael Porter Jr. The Missouri commit and number one overall player in the class of 2017 solidified his ranking by posting a solid 17 points to go with 8 rebounds. While his sub-par shooting performance (0-4 from three, 5-8 from the foul line) may worry some, his presence inside the arc more than made up for his deficiencies. Another standout for the West was point guard Jaylen Hands. The UCLA commit proved himself to be a true floor general as he got to the rim at will, and consistently made the right decision in and around the basket. His passing ability showed maturity beyond his years. He will be a treat to watch in the coming years. Overall, it was an invigorating game. And, for what amounted to a high school all-star game, I think it is safe to say that it was significantly more competitive than its NBA counterpart. I look forward to seeing what these young talents will be able to achieve at the next level.
Elias Khoury 3/30/17