Sunday, April 1, 2012
Calhoun shines in All-American game
By Matt Ehalt
Christ the King shooting guard Omar Calhoun made history once again.
The Connecticut-bound guard scored a game-high 26 points, the most in the two-year history of the All-American Championship, as he led the East team to a 84-72 win over the West team on Sunday afternoon. Calhoun earned Player of the Game honors for his performance at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.
"It was a great feeling to be Player of the Game amongst great players," Calhoun said in a text message.
The 6-3 guard, who became the all-time leading scorer at Christ the King this year, had a slow start, scoring just two points in the first quarter, but came alive in the second. He scored 15 points in that stanza, including shooting 9-of-9 from the free-throw line as he helped the East balloon its lead to 44-28 after 16 minutes of play. Calhoun attacked the lane and showed a nice mid-range jumper to accumulate his points.
Just like the first half, Calhoun started slow with just two points in the third quarter before bursting out in the fourth quarter. He scored on two layups, including a reverse layup, and had a dunk as he finished the game with 26 points in just 19:57 of court time. The senior missed just one free throw out of 11 attempts on the day.
The event, which also had a North vs. South game, featured 40 of the top seniors and juniors in the country.
"It was a fantastic experience to play in a game like that and visit New Orleans and see the sites," Calhoun said in a text message.
The shooting guard was the East team's primary point guard when he was on the court and handled the ball well during his action, including a nice behind-the-back assist in the third quarter that led to a monstrous dunk by one of his East teammates. He played alongside the nation's top recruit in Nerlen Noels, and Long Island's Chris Obepka of Our Savior New American School also represented the East team.
"It was all good," Calhoun texted about playing the point. "I'm a combo guard so I can do both if asked."
In addition to the basketball game, the shooting guard enjoyed being able to tour around Louisiana. He arrived to the Big Easy on Friday and is heading home Monday morning.
"(I enjoyed seeing) the French Quarter and Bourbon Street," Calhoun said in a text message. "Bracket Town (an NCAA event) was fun as well."
Calhoun was voted MVP of the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association this past season after leading the Royals to their fourth straight Brooklyn/Queens Division title. He also guided the team to two Brooklyn/Queens Tournament titles, two Intersectional titles, and a State Federation championship in his three years on the varsity squad.
He is the only current recruit headed to UConn next season and a source told ESPNNewYork.com that Calhoun is 99.9 percent headed to Storrs, despite the looming postseason ban for the Huskies. Calhoun wants to finish the school year out on a strong note and keep on improving before he gets to college.
"Just continue working hard and getting better every single day," Calhoun said in a text.