High-SchoolNew-York: Omar Calhoun

New York Week 13 hoops rankings: Christ the King goes down

March, 6, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 4.

A roller-coaster season for Christ the King ended much earlier than most expected, as the Royals fell to Mount St. Michael in the CHSAA Class AA quarterfinals. The loss ended a run of six straight trips to the intersectional final as well as the storied career of all-time leading scorer Omar Calhoun.

Mount St. Michael, which was led by 30 points from Malik Gill, will look to continue its run against Holy Cross in the semifinals, with the winner facing either Cardinal Hayes or St. Raymond.

The final four in the PSAL Class AA bracket is just as intriguing, with the favorite Jefferson going up against a streaking Wings Academy, while Lincoln and Boys & Girls will once again renew their rivalry.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 20-2 (1)
Knights won their seventh straight Section 1 Class AA championship with a rout of Mahopac. After a bye, the Knights will face either Binghamton or Middletown in Friday's regional finals.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 24-6 (2)
Thaddeus Hall dropped 25 points to lead the Orange Wave past Wadleigh. Next up: Wings Academy in the PSAL Class AA semifinals on Saturday.

3. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 22-6 (3)
Thaddeus Hall dropped 25 points to lead the Orange Wave past Wadleigh. Next up: Wings Academy in the PSAL Class AA semifinals on Saturday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

New York Week 11 hoops rankings: Calhoun becomes CTK's greatest scorer

February, 21, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 19

Omar Calhoun entered the season just 598 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in Christ the King's history. In other words, it was just a matter of time before the UConn recruit moved atop the list.

So with former record-holder and current Royals assistant coach Khalid Reeves watching on the sideline, Calhoun continued his recent tear with 32 points in a win against Burke Catholic and moved into first place. Now, the Royals hope their newly minted legend can keep up this pace as the playoffs heat up.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 17-2 (1)
Every one of the Knights scored in a Class AA opening-round rout of Clarkstown North. Next up: a second-round matchup with New Rochelle on Tuesday.

2. Christ the King (Middle Village) 18-6 (2)
Omar Calhoun became the school's all-time scoring leader with 32 points in a win against Burke Catholic. Royals will continue play in Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan tournament on Wednesday.

3. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 22-6 (3)
After a loss to national No. 3 St. Anthony (N.J.), the Orange Wave downed Xaverian. They will begin their state-title push next Wednesday against Robeson in the second round of the PSAL Class AA playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings

New York Week 10 hoops rankings: Mount Vernon retakes top spot

February, 14, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 12

Surprise, surprise. There's a new No. 1 team in New York this week. Mount Vernon retook the top spot after overcoming a sluggish start to beat New Rochelle, 79-52, behind 20 points each from Jarrel Marshall and Qwadere Lovell.

Granted, Christ the King could make an argument to remain as the top team after making a comeback — albeit, in more dramatic fashion — against Holy Cross. Omar Calhoun scored 31 points and the Royals rallied from an 11-point deficit in the last 1:55 to pull out an 88-82 overtime win. Calhoun's output placed him in a tie with Royals legend Khalid Reeves as the school's top scorer with 1,676 career points entering Friday's game against Burke Catholic.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 16-2 (3)
Knights regain top spot after downing Scarsdale and rallying for a win against New Rochelle.

2. Christ the King (Middle Village) 17-6 (1)
Omar Calhoun's skills were on full display in an overtime win against Holy Cross, as the senior dropped 31 points. Next up: Burke Catholic on Friday.

3. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 21-5 (2)
Orange Wave claimed its first Brooklyn Borough crown with 66-62 win against No. 4 Boys a Girls behind Thaddeus Hall's 32 points and 13 rebounds. A huge test comes Friday when they play defending national champ St. Anthony (N.J.).

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

NY Week 9 hoops rankings: Christ the King is new No. 1

February, 7, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

About two weeks ago, following a 38-point loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) in front of a national TV audience, some may have written off Christ the King, which had lost two of its last three. But in one swift weekend, the Royals reminded everyone of the potential surrounding last year's Federation runner-up.

UConn-bound Omar Calhoun put on a show, pouring in 33 points during a road victory against St. Raymond before dropping 27 in a win against Cardinal Hayes. The result was the top ranking in this week's state rankings and critical momentum as the playoffs loom. Led by Calhoun's 24.6 points per game, the Royals boast two other double-digit scorers in three-point specialist Jon Severe (12.8) and junior Isaiah Lewis (11.2).

While CTK is on the rise, Lincoln hopes it can avoid a great fall. The Railsplitters enter the Brooklyn Borough playoffs without their best player, Isaiah Whitehead, who is expected to sit out the tournament with an ankle injury. Lincoln showed it can excel without their super sophomore by securing a few wins while Whitehead sat out with injury and eligibility issues.

Meanwhile, Jefferson continues its rise, winning four games last week, including a 95-92 overtime decision against Boys & Girls to clinch its first ever Brooklyn Borough AA title. Thaddeus Hall went off in the win with 30 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Christ the King (Middle Village) 15-6 (9)
Royals vaulted up to No. 1 after Omar Calhoun dropped 33 points in a win against St. Raymond and 27 in a victory against No. 6 Cardinal Hayes. Next up: St. Francis Prep on Tuesday.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 18-5 (5)
Thaddeus Hall scored a career-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds in a 95-92 overtime win against previous No. 1 Boys & Girls. Next up: Brooklyn borough playoffs.

3. Mount Vernon 14-2 (4)
Knights breezed past Mamaroneck to push win streak to four games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

No. 22 Mater Dei overwhelms Christ the King

January, 16, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s safe to say that Shabazz Muhammad is at the top of UNLV’s — and just about every other college’s — wish list this year. And while Muhammad was his usual spectacular self on Monday, it was the lights-out performance by another recruit at the Hoophall Classic that had plenty of Runnin’ Rebels fans salivating.

UNLV-bound Katin Reinhardt was downright unconscious, draining a tournament-record-tying nine 3-pointers en route to 35 points and an 88-50 win for Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) over Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.).

While Christ the King came in with hopes of slowing Reinhardt, the senior guard knew early on that Monday could be a special night.

Katin Reinhardt
J. Anthony Roberts/ESPNHSKatin Reinhardt lit Christ the King up for 35 points in the Monarchs' big win.
“Usually when I start the game with a dunk, that gets my legs going and me in a rhythm,” Reinhardt said. “So after I got that dunk in the first quarter, I felt like, ‘OK, this could be big.’”

Stanley Johnson also came up big, snatching 15 rebounds to help the Monarchs control the boards and capitalize on second-chance opportunities.

On the other hand, Christ the King, just two days removed from a tournament in Missouri, looked the part of a jet-lagged squad. The Royals were beaten early and often in transition by Mater Dei and shot just 26 percent from the field.

Omar Calhoun tried to keep the Royals in it, but an off night (8-for-22) from the UConn recruit and a third quarter that saw the Royals get outscored 27-7 ultimately did them in.

“We saw some effects of Mater Dei,” Royals coach Joe Arbitello said when asked if the long flight affected his team. “I saw Reinhardt play before and he played really well tonight, too. We were just a step slower than them. But losses like this can happen. We know we can compete.”

The Monarchs, ranked No. 22 in the POWERADE FAB 50, improved to 16-2 on the year.

Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Five Days of List-Mas: Five Best NBA players from New York

December, 15, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of New York.

Dajuan Coleman and Omar Calhoun are standout basketball recruits who are headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. New York has a long history of sending top high school players to the NBA. But who's been the best? Here's our list of the five best players from the Empire State to play in the NBA.

5. Bob Lanier
Credentials: And so your history begins with one of the NBA's best big men. Lanier played at Bennett before moving on to star at St. Bonaventure University, averaging 29.1 points and 16.0 boards as a senior. The Detroit Pistons drafted him first overall in 1970 and he didn't disappoint, becoming a monster in points (20.1 ppg) and on the glass (10.1 rpg) in 14 seasons with Detroit and Milwaukee. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

4. Nate "Tiny" Archibald
Credentials: Archibald had big game for somebody just 6-1 and 150 pounds. After starring at DeWitt Clinton, he went to play at UTEP in Texas, where he put up 21.6 points per game. The Cincinnati Royals drafted him 19th overall in 1970. His best years came in Kansas City, where he once averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists, and Boston, where he helped win the 1981 NBA title. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

3. Bob Cousy
Credentials: Known to most as the first magician with the basketball, Cousy played his high school ball at Andrew Jackson before enrolling at Holy Cross. There he averaged 15.4 points in four years, leading the Boston Celtics to draft him third overall in 1950. Cousy teamed with some of Boston's greatest players to win six NBA titles while leading the league in assists eight times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

2. Julius Erving
Credentials: Dr. J first used his high-flying moves at Roosevelt High before playing at UMass, where he averaged 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds. He first played in the ABA for the Virginia Squires and New York Nets, winning two titles before joining the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers in 1976. While dunking on every cat in sight, Erving won the 1980 MVP, a NBA title in 1983 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Credentials: The NBA's all-time leading scorer netted his first meaningful points at Power Memorial before enrolling at UCLA. There, he became arguably the greatest college player ever, averaging 26.4 points and 15.5 rebounds despite the NCAA outlawing dunks to slow him down. The player then known as Lew Alcindor was drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and went on to win the 1971 NBA title alongside Oscar Robertson. He then was traded to the Lakers in 1975 and won five more rings with Magic Johnson as well as a league-record six MVPs. Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 career points and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.

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

Boys & Girls is new No. 1 after knocking off Christ the King

December, 14, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

When Leroy Fludd lined up against Christ the King star Omar Calhoun, the Boys & Girls senior had one thing in mind: to prove he was the top player in NYC.

Such a claim can't be settled in just one game, but Fludd certainly gained people's attention by dropping 23 points and leading the Kangaroos to a 64-59 upset of the state's then-top ranked team. Calhoun finished with 18 points.

As a result, the defending PSAL champs are the new No. 1 this week, overtaking idle Mount Vernon and debuting in the POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 24

Jamesville-DeWitt also dropped a few spots after losing its opener to DeMatha (Md.), the nation's No. 10 team. The Red Rams hung tough in the National High School Hoops Fest until Dajuan Coleman was sent to the bench with his third foul, sparking an 18-0 run by DeMatha. Such tough games should pay huge dividends down the line, though.

Lastly, Lincoln looked impressive, going 2-0 without star Isaiah Whitehead, who was out with academic problems and a knee injury. The sophomore is expected to be back for Friday's game against Grady. Likewise, Cardinal Hayes debuts after an undefeated start, backing up the belief by many local coaches that the Cardinals are a team to watch.

Here are this week's state rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 5-0 (5)
The Kangaroos jump into the top spot after upsetting nationally ranked Christ the King behind Leroy Fludd's 23 points.

2. Mount Vernon 0-0 (2)
Isaiah Cousins leads the nation's No. 26 team when the season opens next Monday against Gompers.

3. Christ the King (Middle Village) 1-1 (1)
The Royals drop a couple spots after falling to an emerging Boys a Girls squad, but will look to recover during the holiday tournament season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

Five Days of List-Mas: NY's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in New York? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Justin Combs (SR), Iona Prep, Football
Credentials: son of Diddy, UCLA recruit, played three positions at Iona Prep

4. Isaiah Whitehead (SO), Lincoln, Basketball
Credentials: No. 20 in ESPNU 25, primed to follow former Lincoln stars Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair into NBA

3. Chad Kelly, St. Joe's Collegiate Football
Credentials: Elite 11 finalist, Clemson recruit, Under Armour All-American, only QB in state to ever pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards, nephew of former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly

2. Omar Calhoun (SR), Christ the King, Basketball
Credentials: No. 27 in ESPNU 100, UConn recruit, led Royals to 2010 state Federation Class AA title

1. Dajuan Coleman (SR), Jamesville-DeWitt, Basketball
Credentials: No. 14 in ESPNU 100, Syracuse recruit, led Red Rams to three straight Class A state titles, three-time Elite 24 participant

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

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

Read More »

Christ the King sits on throne in preseason New York hoops rankings

October, 19, 2011
Christ the King basketball coach Joe Arbitello would much rather be on atop the state rankings in March rather than now, but with arguably New York's best player in Omar Calhoun and several solid sidekicks like Isaiah Lewis, we had to put the Royals at No. 1 in October, too.

We also couldn't keep them out of the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. The Royals placed at No. 24, while Mount Vernon, which beat Christ the King in last year's state Federation championship, earned the No. 33 spot.

Here are how the state rankings shake out:

1. Christ the King (Middle Village)
2. Mount Vernon
3. Jamesville-DeWitt

Click here for the full POWERADE preseason New York basketball rankings