2004 ABCD Basketball Camp Senior All-Star Game
The underclassmen game was a tough act to follow on Reebok ABCD Basketball Camp All Star Sunday.
NOTE: 2006 ABCD CAMP COVERAGE COMING TO INSIDEHOOPS JULY 8-9
The four selected as Most Valuable Players of the Senior All Star game were undoubtedly those who brought the much-needed life to a game that lacked the match-ups of the underclassmen game.
MVP awards were handed out to camp leading scorer Gerald Green (Houston, TX) and Jeremy Pargo (Chicago, IL) from the West. The East had Brandon Rush (Kansas City, MO) and Byron Eaton (Dallas, TX) receive the MVPs for its side.
The West, wearing baby blue and black jerseys, took the East, in the ABCD style un-Wests (black with baby blue fits), from a game that was 30-plus points in difference for most of the time to one that saw them hang on to win by just 11, 178-167.
Green had a breakout week at the ABCD basketball camp, where he absolutely dominated at the three-spot and averaged 19.1 points per game. Unfortunately for college coaches, they were getting wind a little too late of the long 6-8 swingman that was trying to take it back to ABCD '97 with his T-Mac style play. Recently committed to Oklahoma State, Green's 27 points in the ABCD basketball camp "rising seniors" all-star game was a fitting way to cap off a week highlighted by a Saturday night performance of six straight dunks that left several notable programs' coaches overheard saying things to the likes of, "We can't get him now," and, "That's this class' sleeper right there."
"I think what Gerald did in New Jersey this week was he put himself in the top of the class," ABCD coordinator of 21 years Sonny Vaccaro said.
"Now he can be a national name where he was a regional name before. Everyone knew he was good, that's quite obvious. But hell, he comes out and wins the MVP and with the other names that were here like Tasmin (Mitchell) and Brandon (Rush), he put himself in the running now for first-team All-American and potential player of the year."
The "rising seniors" all-star game started off looking like it would be better than expected with each team making its first three shots. Green then brought the crowd in with his first three hoops all being dunks and Rush joined him in the show with one of his own. If anything, this was the match-up thought to carry the game coming in - a Green verses Rush dunk contest within the finale.
But with the five man rotations being switched every five minutes, the two high-risers didn't make it back on the court until after the half.
Green had North Carolina commit Bobby Frasor (Blue Island, IL) on the court with him in the first session to help put the West up 35-25 at the time of the first substitution period. Frasor, who finished with 14 points, shot the lights out as he often does and got his East squad going early by dishing out four of his nine assists.
Dueling point guards Pargo and Eaton gave a quick glimpse of what they had to offer in the second half as they exchanged three-point buckets while guarding each other. Shawn Taggart (Richmond, VA) also dropped in two from behind the stripe and Danny Green (North Babylon, NY), who finished the week atop the player ratings at 34.7 percent, tossed an alley-oop from half court to Marcus Johnson (Westchester, CA) that kept some life in the East before their eventual second-half disassembling.
Pargo and Eric Devendorf (Bay City, MI), who announced during the ABCD basketball camp that he was heading to Syracuse after a year at Oak Hill, then opened the second half going head-to-head. Pargo won the four possession battle as he netted a trey and drove on Devendorf, whereas Devendorf put up two from behind the arc that rimmed out.
With that, Pargo then met Eaton and the two did their best to put some spin on the game.
"We were hoping we'd play against each other all week but we didn't get to until today. I had been wanting him since NBA camp," Eaton said.
"I just felt like I should answer to make the game a competitive situation," Pargo said.
"The game was kind of dry after the beginning so we did what we could to make it better. We talked about this at NBA camp."
Antoine Walker even got up to encourage the show from his seat in the corner of the baseline.
Despite their teammates having to be urged by the crowd not to set picks, Eaton and Pargo went at it uncontested throughout the middle to late parts of the second half.
Neither really worked out the other, but there were some entertaining moments, like when Eaton once lost the ball on a spin dribble and sent it flying into the crowd.
Eaton finished with 16 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He is headed to Oklahoma State to form what should be a scary one-two with Green. Pargo, who is currently undecided, dropped 21 and added eight assists.
Others doing work from the East included Tasmin Mitchell (Denham Springs, LA - 17 points), whose list is down to LSU and Kentucky, and Leo Criswell (12 points), a 6'8 forward from Kansas City, Kan., who was breaking guys down off the dribble from the perimeter and pulled up for two three-pointers. Impressive was the fact he did this with a calf-injury that he kept quiet since it happened on Friday. Taggart finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds and Devendorf went for 13.
The West had its big men help them pull out the victory with 6'11 Louisville commit Amir Johnson (Westchester, CA - 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Providence commit Jonathan Kale (Barrington, RI - 15 points, 5 rebounds), who had a big week on the blocks considering he wasn't a top 100 guy on anyone's list prior to camp.
Rush, who led the East with 21 points, provided the final touches on the game. Rush and Eaton were left alone on a breakaway as he finished off an Eaton-alley by coming down the lane and catching the lob for a two-handed reverse. One Rush-windmill slam later and another ABCD camp was in the books as it once again provided more of its trademark cultural hoop moments, some of which will wind up being talked about by only those that were there to witness them.
Patrick Stevens is a senior journalism major at the University of
Rhode Island and a frequent contributor to InsideHoops.com.