Saturday, May 10, 2014

Frankie Williams Charity Classic On Tap For May 29

Lance Stephenson was the nation's most coveted uncommitted McDonald's All-American when the Indiana Pacer guard played at the Frankie Williams classic.

Sean Kilpatrick, a White Plains product and prolific scorer who joined Stephenson at Cincinnati and appears on the doorstep of an NBA career, also competed in the event.

Villanova's Jayvaughn Pinkston, a Brooklyn-bred man-child, was one of the most acclaimed players at the event in 2010.

Former Boys & Girls sniper Mike Taylor eventually stole the show, spotting up and firing from every corner, nook and cranny of the gym en route to a 33-point eruption.

Kemba Walker, who authored arguably the best one-man tournament tear in UCONN history, willing the Huskies to a Big East and national championship, also played in the event while at now-defunct Rice High School in Harlem.

The list goes on and on and on. There's always a buffet-line of talent on display, a who's who of the tri-state's top-flight recruits.

The Frankie Williams charity game's theme of blending Westchester and NYC recruits continues this year.

Though rosters have yet to be released, the game will feature a torrent of talent, including Fordham-commit Eric Paschall and hotly-pursued guard Donovan Mitchell of Brewster Academy.

Spring Valley's inside-outside tandem of Rickey McGill and Kai Mitchell, now hounded by handfuls of Division-I programs, with interest intensifying during this spring's AAU season, will also play in the All-Star game style event.

Also expect Pearl River's Kevin Degnan, a smooth-stroking Fairfield-bound 6-foot-8 forward and Brendan McManus understudy since Day 1. Rosters will likely be released next week.

Expect lots of acrobatics, fast break bangers, lobs and sizzling cross overs and enough flash and pizzaz to confuse the court at Theodore D. Young Community Center with The Rucker. Settling for a jumper (yawn) in a game of this frenetic pace might catch you a barrage of boos.

 The game is slated for May 29th at 8PM.

Tickets will be sold at $10 for adults and $5 with children. All proceeds will benefit Academic Athletic Programs.

The event will feature a celebrity guest coach in Bobby Gonzalez, the former Seton Hall boss who led Manhattan to national prominence with a titanic, world-shocking upset of a David Lee and Matt Walsh-led Florida team back in 2004.

Gonzalez got his teeth cut as a coach in New York, where he spent his summers involved with Five Star as well as Gauchos and Riverside AAU.

While Gonzo wore out his welcome with Seton Hall in 2010, his impact on the New York area rendered him one of the nation's most aggressive recruiters.

Gonzo helped groom players such as Kareem Reid, the late and legendary Malik Sealy and former North Carolina forward Brian Reece at (now-defunct) St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx.

 He spent his summers at Five Star and coached one of the best high school basketball players to ever roam the planet in Felipe Lopez at Rice under Lou DeMello in the early 1990s.

Gonzalez built a New York pipeline with players such as God Shammgod and Corey Wright while serving as an assistant at Providence.

Gonzalez was led by a diminutive, high-scoring guard in Washington Heights native Luis Flores during Manhattan's prosperous era. Both Lopez and Flores have been instrumental in giving back to the city game this spring.