Presenting: Brooklyn’s high school basketball players of the year
Brooklyn’s basketball season was another exciting one even if it ended in disappointment for most of its teams. The Borough of Kings easily had the most talent in all of New York City.
Lincoln was by far the favorite, not just in Brooklyn, but the entire city. The Railsplitters’ season ended early though when Jefferson upset them in the Public School Athletic League’s semifinals before they lost in the city finals at the Barclays Center to Cardozo. Bishop Loughlin was perhaps just as talented and lost in the Catholic High School Athletic League’s finals to Christ the King even after they dominated that same team in the Brooklyn-Queens finals.
Brooklyn teams in the other leagues didn’t fare a whole lot better — Bishop Ford lost in the CHSAA A title game, Bedford Academy was beaten in the PSAL A finals. Only Brooklyn Community Arts and Media won the PSAL B title to advance to the state tournament in Albany before they too went home empty handed.
Like I said, though, Brooklyn still had the most talent in the city and here is a list of the best players from this season:
MVP: Isaiah Whitehead, Lincoln High School: Isaiah Whitehead fell short of his ultimate goal of a state championship, but he racked up some nice accolades anyway. He led the PSAL Brooklyn AA with 23.6 points per game, was named New York’s Mr. Basketball, earned McDonald’s All-American honors and will play in the Jordan Brand Classic later this week. He’s the best player in Brooklyn, New York City and will likely be in the NBA after he stops off at Seton Hall first.
Rookie of the Year: Shamorie Ponds, Jefferson High School: Jefferson’s sophomore point guard was a standout player in his first year in the PSAL. He averaged 15.47 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. With Ponds around for the next two years, Jefferson will continue to be one of New York City’s top teams.
Coach of the Year: Bud Pollard, Jefferson High School: With all of the familiar names gone it seemed like Jefferson could take a step back this year and when disfunction forced them to forfeit an early game to Lincoln it seemed certain. However, Pollard whipped his team into shape and pulled off one of the most thrilling upsets of the season at any level when the Orange Wave beat the Railsplitters in the semis. After that victory, Pollard declared himself the “new big dog in town” and he’s probably right.
Khadeen Carrington, Bishop Loughlin: What a season it was for the Seton Hall-bound Carrington. He averaged 24.2 points per game and scored 42 points in the Brooklyn-Queens finals to beat Christ the King.
Michael Williams, Bishop Loughlin: Williams averaged 16.9 points per game, but he certainly doesn’t play the role of Robin to Carrington’s Batman as he is one of the best players to ever come through Loughlin. He’ll be taking Brooklyn’s best shot to Rutgers University next season.
Desi Rodriguez, Lincoln High School: Rodriguez has turned himself into one of the best players in New York City since he transferred to Lincoln which got him a scholarship to Seton Hall. He averaged 18.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and is probably the most prolific dunker was this season.
Samson Usilo, Nazareth: If Rodriguez wasn’t the best dunker it was Usilo. The Manhattan-bound player tried to lead Nazareth to its third consecutive championship, but unfortunately, after a 17-game winning streak, he fell just short.
Davere Creighton, Brooklyn Collegiate: Expect Creighton to compete for the MVP next season as Brooklyn’s best player because he’s already among the elite as a junior. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game and led Collegiate to the PSAL semis even as his team was without one of its best players all season long.
Isaiah Gurley, Westinghouse: Gurley led Brooklyn AA with 7.6 assists per game and was sixth with 16.6 points per contest. Westinghouse didn’t go deep into the playoffs, but behind Gurley they were one of the top teams in Brooklyn.
Daquaise Andrews, Jefferson High School: Day Day transferred from Bayside to lead Jefferson to its third straight championship game. He averaged 15.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this season.
Jamie Killings, Boys and Girls High School: The Kangaroos weren’t as good this season as they have been, but Killings, along with teammate Gianni Ford, made them an exciting team to watch. he averaged 17.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Elisha Boone, Lincoln High School: Boone averaged just 13.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, but that was mostly due to a slow start. By the end he was dominating and averaged 20.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in the playoffs. Look for him at St. Peter’s next season.
Javian Delacruz, Bishop Loughlin: The X-factor at Loughlin, Delacruz would step up in big spots when teams were keyed in on Carrington and Williams. As a result, he hit some of the biggest shots of the year for the Lions and averaged 14.2 points per game.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Michael Watson Jr, Robeson High School; Gianni Ford, Boys High; Patrick Brown, Jefferson; Doudmy Saint Hilaire, South Shore High School; Craig McKenzie, Brooklyn Collegiate; Devin Dingle, Bishop Ford; Christopher Benjamin, Brooklyn Community; Saion Charles, Xaverian; Darren Thomas, Bedford Academy; Wolfgang Novogratz, Poly Prep; and Matthew Scott, Brooklyn Law and Technology.
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