High-SchoolNew-York: ESPNU 100

OCalhounSteve Boyle/ESPNHSOmar Calhoun's intense work ethic fuels the senior's drive for a second state title and the all-time scoring record at Christ the King.
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s New York edition.


There’s something in your heart,
And it’s in your eyes
It’s the fire, inside you

— “The Fire” by The Roots feat. John Legend

It’s an unseasonably warm October afternoon in Queens, the type of day that has you itching to get outside the second the school bell rings.

But on this day, the best basketball player in New York City is inside the Christ the King gymnasium drenched in sweat. Royals senior guard Omar Calhoun is here for open-gym practice with a handful of his teammates. It’s a voluntary workout, and as a player who has committed to defending national champ UConn and is rated the nation’s No. 27 recruit in the ESPNU 100, Calhoun has every reason to take a day off.

But Calhoun didn’t get to this point by taking days off. And he isn’t about to start now, especially since Christ the King suffered a heartbreaking loss to Mount Vernon in last year’s state Federation Class AA final. In fact, Calhoun was in the gym the day after falling to the Knights, trying to improve the aspects of his game he felt had failed him.

“He wanted to work out,” says fourth-year Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello. “But even if we had beaten Mount Vernon that day, he would have called me the next day to work out.”

Determination is something every elite athlete has, but you’d be hard pressed to find a high school hoops player more driven than Calhoun. Satisfaction just isn’t in his vocabulary. So even though he helped guide the Royals to a state Federation title as a sophomore, he chooses to focus on his failure to repeat as a junior. And despite being ranked among the best players in the country, the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Calhoun works every day trying to be better than the 26 players rated ahead of him.

“I want to reach my potential,” he says. “It’s what drives me every day to work hard and focus on my craft. I want to be recognized as one of the greatest players in Christ the King history.”

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Coleman stays near home, commits to Syracuse

October, 28, 2011
10/28/11
2:19
PM ET
After narrowing his choices to Syracuse, Kentucky and Ohio State, Dajuan Coleman chose to stay close to home and commit to the Orange on Tuesday.

The Jamesville-DeWitt senior center, who averaged 24.5 points and 14 rebounds last season, is the No. 14 player in the ESPNU 100 and will look to lead his team to a fifth straight Class A title this winter.

Click here for more on Coleman's commitment.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Coleman Talks Elite 24

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
6:09
PM ET
Dajuan Coleman may only be a teenager, but he's a veteran when it comes to elite basketball. The Jamesville-DeWitt senior center and No.15-ranked player in the ESPNU 100 is entering his third stint at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 this week.

My fellow ESPNHS colleague Dave Auguste, who is on the scene at Venice Beach, caught up with the highly coveted big man to talk about his past experiences as well as who Coleman hopes to dunk on in Wednesday's midnight run.
On the difference between Rucker Park (Elite 24's former home) and Venice Beach: "The biggest difference between the two venues is the environment and the fans. Rucker Park is more live and the fans are into the game. But I'm just out here to play and have some fun.

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