Corey Fisher: The Next Telfair?
Now that Sebastian Telfair has left his place on the list of great point guards that have come out of New York City, word around the Big Apple is Corey Fisher is next up.
After playing this summer for Telfair’s old AAU team, the Juice All-Stars, and being coached by Telfair’s high school coach from Lincoln, Dwayne “Tiny” Morton, the path that Fisher is taking has some similarities to that of which Telfair took.
This only adds to the reasoning as to why the Sebastian comparisons are starting for the Bronx 16-year old, of whom his boys call “Slow Motion” for his relaxed, fluid and deceptively quick game.
Fisher broke out in Queens during this past spring’s highly competitive IS8 league playoffs, where he carried Juice to the season’s championship game. He dropped 22 points in the semi-finals versus the Tim Thomas Playaz and 19 in a finals loss to 2003-2004 New York City Public School Athletic League Champion Mount Vernon.
Keith Mason covers NYC basketball year-round for NYHoops.com and says Fisher’s emergence at IS8 brought about his developing reputation.
“Fisher had a solid but not spectacular regular season at the Spring IS8. It wasn't until the playoffs where he showed off his immense talents. In five playoff games that Fisher played, he scored in double digits in every game and went over the 20 points mark twice. Fisher knocked down long range threes and made defenders look silly with his slick handle. Although his team lost in the championship, it was his 19 points that made him the clear winner in the head-to-head battle with another freshman phenom, Mike Coburn of Mt. Vernon.”
“One play in that game really showed what type of player Fisher is: Top 50 power forward in the 2006 class Jonathan Mitchell grabbed a rebound, and Fisher just snatched it out of his hand, took two steps into the corner and nailed a three over Mitchell. Fisher ended up walking away as the IS8 Rookie of the Year for his excellent play, and even more important he earned the respect of everybody in New York City.”
Fisher’s success carried over into the summer with Juice and soon brought about a national buzz.
He headed to ABCD camp in July where he matched-up well with rival top-of-the-class guard O.J. Mayo and was an easy choice for the Underclassmen All-Star game with his 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio and 8.7 points per game.
And to cap off the summer, Fisher’s other AAU team, Long Island Lightning, handed Mayo’s D-1 Greyhounds its first loss in its 276 games played.
“Corey is a great penetrator, he keeps his man off balance, and he uses his head and shoulders to get the defense up very well. He’s a very good shooter and scorer for his age, and he should be a competitive point guard at the college and professional level, because that’s where his future lies,” Kevin Boyle, Fisher’s head coach at St. Patrick’s of New Jersey, says.
Which brings about the hook to Fisher’s story.
“Saint Raymond’s was always my dream school,” Fisher says.
His grades, though, are what affected his leaving the BX for high school. However, unlike so many others at his age who never panned out, he says he’s fortunate to have woken up and now he won’t have to worry about switching schools for educational purposes again. He also doesn’t plan on falling into that category of those that “were nice,” but got lost in the shuffle in their teenage years.
“I started working on my grades, and then I thought St. Patrick’s would be the best place for me besides St. Raymond’s,” Fisher says.
Fisher ‘s coming to St. Pat’s is an admitted score for Boyle, and Boyle thinks likewise for Fisher.
“I had never seen Corey play before he came here, so we are lucky to have him,” Boyle says.
“I think he saw someone like Jermaine Clark and Shaheen Holloway, guys who came out of the city, came here, and not only ended up with a college scholarship (Clark at Fairfield and Holloway at Seton Hall) but ended up better academically.”
It seems as if things couldn’t be better heading into this upcoming season for Fisher. Chances at a state title are now much higher with six-foot, nine-inch, 282 pound forward Derrick Caracter, arguably the player in the class of 2006 who has been beasting all ages since his eighth grade days at Nike Camp, having transferred back to St. Pat’s. Caracter played at Scotch Plains last season.
“I was telling him before to finish what he started and I’d be there to do it with him,” Fisher says.
Caracter can easily make a deadly combination with anyone feeding the ball to him from the perimeter, but Coach Boyle says Fisher is bringing one of those area intangibles to the duo that you just can’t get somewhere else.
“I see him starting to get that fire now that the top city kids usually get.”
Needless to say, things are beginning to come together quite quickly for Corey Fisher.
Between games at ABCD, he opened up and talked about his game and answered other questions surrounding him already at his young age.
PS: What do you think your play at ABCD Camp has done for you?
FISHER: Being here has helped a lot. The reason I came here was because the better kids in my class were going to be here. Playing against Taylor King, O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker has been good for me.
I was supposed to go to Adidas camp, and then it was Nike, but I felt more comfortable coming here. I knew a lot more people here and my mother and my family could come see me too. Plus I had the flu (the weekend before) so I called Gary Charles and he helped me out at the last minute.
PS: What did you think of ABCD when you were younger?
FISHER: I came here in seventh and eighth grade to see my friend Sebastian and ever since then I said I had always wanted to come to this camp.
PS: How did you and Sebastian get tight?
FISHER: Tiny was always saying I played like Sebastian, and Sebastian would pull me aside and school me on some things to do when I was playing with Juice when I was younger. He taught me leadership on and off the court.
PS: Were you ever considering anything with Lincoln this past summer?
FISHER: No, I was never considering it. It was just because I was playing with Tiny at IS8 and I was playing against a lot of top players. That’s the tournament I kind of blew up at but I was always going to be at St. Patrick’s.
PS: How has it been dealing with the media at your age like Sebastian had to?
FISHER: My people help me out with that and I have a speech class now, too. I’m a shy person, I don’t really like the cameras but my family and my boys told me it’s going to come one day and you just have to go through it.
PS: Who are some of the other people who have helped you the most with your game over the years?
FISHER: I would have to say my Father, but I only started playing seriously when I was 13.
PS: Talk about the rest of your family some and how they’ve brought you along.
FISHER: I live with my mom and my brother. He’s in the ninth grade, he’s going to be real good. And my mom, she’s been coming to my games since I was little. She would be yelling in the crowd with my jerseys on. It was kind of embarrassing but I love her.
PS: What do you do to work on your game outside of AAU and high school?
FISHER: I work out at my community center with Kenny Satterfield and Andre Barrett.
PS: We see a lot of skills at both positions from you, but do you think you’re more of a point or a two-guard?
FISHER: I’m a combo guard right now. It depends on how my body grows though. My family and coaches think I’ll play the one in college, but if I grow another two or three inches, I’ll probably be a two-guard.
PS: What do you like about playing the point?
FISHER: I think the one is good because it’s the hardest position in basketball. You get to run the team and you have to see the floor, and I like doing that.
PS: Is there anyone you try and copy or add parts of their game to yours?
FISHER: I like watching Allen Iverson, Ray Allen and Allan Houston. I think my game is going to be like theirs.
PS: You play basketball because you enjoy it but is there a part of you that does it for another reason?
FISHER: I love the game but I come from a bad area, and if I keep doing well and get better, than I can help myself and everyone else out in the long run.
Patrick Stevens is a journalism major at the University of Rhode Island and a frequent contributor to InsideHoops.com. He can be reached at pstevens@Mail.uri.edu.