New York High School: Billy Turnage

Wings' Jenkins headed to Fairfield

April, 9, 2012
The difference between a plane ride and a car trip played a pivotal role in leading Wings Academy senior guard Justin Jenkins to commit to Fairfield over Florida Atlantic.

"It came down to my mother being able to come see me play and being able to stay close to my home and my family," Jenkins said. "I'm also going to get a good education."

Jenkins chose the Stags on Monday after completing his unofficial visit to Florida Atlantic. He averaged 17.1 points and seven assists in league play as he led the Wings to the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA semifinals this past season.

"I feel like it's a good program," Jenkins said about the Stags, who made the MAAC title game this year. "They have a good recruiting class coming in,"

The 6-2 guard came to his conclusion after returning home from Florid and talking to his mother and one of his AAU coaches, Casey Williams, who he says is like a big brother to him. Jenkins liked how Fairfield always kept tabs on him.

"They were always at my games," Jenkins said. "I saw Fairfield people all season."

The senior was a late bloomer on the recruiting trail, not really emerging until his junior season. A broken leg his sophomore year kept him from playing with the varsity and he averaged 10 points and 2.4 assists in league games for Wings as a junior.

After the departure of several key seniors last year, Jenkins showcased his ability to play the point and be a leader this year, according to Wings Academy head coach Billy Turnage. The coach said Jenkins did a phenomenal job handling those responsibilities.

Turnage said Jenkins is the type of player who does several things very well, compared to one great skill, mentioning his ability to score from every point on the floor. He said Jenkins defensive and strength could improve, but believes the strength will come with being on a college campus.

"It's a great fit for him," Turnage said. "Education wise, he's going to get a high-class education and he has an opportunity to step forward and earn some minutes for the team right away."

Jenkins said making a decision was stressful, as there was so much importance on making the right one, and he's glad it's over. He's probably going to take summer classes at Fairfield.

He said the Stags expect him to work hard right away and develop as a point guard, emphasizing the ability to share the ball. Jenkins is hoping that he can bring that same leadership and steady guard play that he demonstrated this past season with Wings.

The guard will be joined at Fairfield by Cardinal Hayes senior center Amadou Sidibe, and Jenkins is excited to be heading there with another New York City player.

"I'm excited to play with him," Jenkins said. "I've played with him before so it's exciting to be able to play with someone you know at college, it makes it a little easier."

Bronx/Queens teams sweep Mayor's Cup

March, 30, 2012
The bragging rights in the Public Schools Athletic League will be in the Bronx and Queens for the year, as the Bronx/Queens teams defeated the Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island squads in both the boys and girls game in the Mayor's Cup on Friday night at City College of New York. The Mayor's cup pits the best seniors in the PSAL against one another.

Girls: Bronx/Queens 65, Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island 60: While JFK's Deaisia Acklin took home MVP honors, it was the play of Morrisania's Ogechukwu Uwanaka that had one of the team's coaches, Francis Lewis' Stephen Tsai, raving after the game.

"I have no idea how we win without her," Tsai said. "She had to play a majority of the time as she was our only legitimate size but she was quick enough to go against the other team's size as well. Deaisia also had to play a majority for us and while she won MVP, (Uwanaka) did so much for us in terms of rebounding, blocked shots, loose balls. It was so impressive."

The Bronx/Queens team fell in a 19-6 hole early but it pulled itself back into the game by using a zone defense and took the lead. The Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island team made a late charge but Tsai said the Bronx/Queens team made some incredible shots that he would guess some of the girls didn't even expect to go in.

"The event was better than I expected," Tsai said. "The turnout was incredible, Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg was there and taking pictures with everybody, it turned out to be a great event and for the boys game it was even nicer. I was so impressed with how everything turned out. It was a great event and great to be a part of."

Boys: Bronx/Queens 122, Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island 121 (OT): The Bronx/Queens team capitalized on two missed free throws by arguably the best player in the league, Leroy "Truck" Fludd, and scored a late basket to squeak out the win in overtime and complete the sweep for the boroughs.

The Bronx/Queens team took a lead on a layup by JFK's Muhammed Ahmed following Fludd's misses, and the Manhattan/Brooklyn/Staten Island team had a chance to win the game late but couldn't connect.

Eagle Academy's Najee Senior was named MVP for scoring 15 points while Wadleigh's Basil Harley scored 26 in a losing effort. Senior scored all of his points in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

"It was a cool event," said Wings Academy coach Billy Turnage, who was part of the winning staff. "You got to see the AA players with the A players and B players. These guys never had the chance to play together before, and I had never seen some of them, and these lower level guys are talented and can ball out."

Wadleigh coach Mike Crump, who was on the losing staff, called it an "A1 event" and had a fun time meeting Mayor Bloomberg following the game.

"We took a picture with him and I was going to give him rabbit ears," Crump joked. "He had security detail there and I didn't want to spend a week in the pen so I ultimately didn't do it."

PSAL boys Class AA quarterfinals recap

March, 4, 2012
The PSAL has its final four set after Boys & Girls, Lincoln, Wings Academy and Thomas Jefferson each won in the quarterfinals. You can read more about Boys' win here, but here are the highlights from the other three games at St. John's.

Lincoln 60, Curtis 57: Lincoln thought it had an easy task taking on Curtis, but the game instead came down to the final possession as the third-seeded Railsplitters barely pulled off a 60-57 victory against sixth-seeded Curtis to advance to the semifinals against Boys & Girls.

“I think we were at least 15 points better than them,” Lincoln’s head coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton said. “Obviously we weren’t. We were lucky, that last shot could easily have gone in or we could have been called for a foul.”

Morton once again singled out his star sophomore Isaiah Whitehead as a big reason for why his team underachieved. Whitehead, who led his team with 19 points, played in just his third game since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out for two weeks.

“No, I don't think he played really well,” Morton said. “He did some things he used to do, but he wasn't playing 100 percent in this game. He is much better than that. He didn't really push by anybody because his ankle is not there and you can tell.

“I don't think it's a physical thing, I think it's a mental thing. He's probably going to need two months off to get his ankle together.”

Wings 56, Cardozo 46: Fourth-seeded Wings played a shutdown defense that held fifth-seeded Cardozo to just four points in the first and third quarters on its way to an eventual 56-46 victory.

Wings coach Billy Turnage said after the game that he loves the way his team played defense, but he would like to see them turn more of its stops into points.

“We've been playing solid defense," Turnage said. "We have to reward ourselves for getting stops. We have the tendency to let up and give up too many offensive rebounds when we get stops though.”

Marvillo Berroa led Wings with 20 points and said he dedicated the game to his mother and sisters who encouraged him to turn his season around after a slow start.

Jefferson 80, Wadleigh 61: Jefferson carried a slim 35-34 into the half before exploding in the third quarter on its way to an eventual win. Thaddeus Hall led all with 25 points and string of three’s in the third quarter sparked the breakout.

“That's what Thaddeus has done since he's been back,” Jefferson coach Bud Pollard said. “I think Son Son (Jaquan Lynch) has been our MVP for the year because he carried us when Thaddeus wasn't here. But now he's back and he's going to carry us to a championship and he's been doing just that. He's making plays and showing us that he's a big leader.”

Also making a big contribution was Jalen Evans, whose father had a run-in with coach Pollard a couple weeks back when Jefferson faced St. Anthony’s. Evans had 17 points.

“I thought the story today was JJ Evans,” Pollard said. “He came off the bench and dominated the game. I just wish his father was here because last time he tried to slug me, today he could have hugged me. I'm going to call him up and say, 'give me a hug because last time you had a slug.'”

Jefferson will take on Wings Academy next week and according to Hall, the game should be easy.

“Wings, that's easy," he said. "I don't think Wings can deal with us. I just know for a fact that that's an easy game. They don't have any heart.”

Game of the Week: CK 74, Wings 65

December, 29, 2011
The Christ the King Royals fell behind early against Wings Academy, but tied the game in the third and played a commanding fourth quarter to win 74-65 in the semifinals of the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic in Binghamton on Thursday night. The loss was Wings Academy's first loss of the season after a perfect 10-0 start. Christ the King improves to 4-1.

Christ the King's star Omar Calhoun led his team with 28 points, Isaiah Lewis had 21, and Jon Severe had 19 with most of those points coming in a big fourth quarter. Justin Jenkins led the Wings with 25 points.

“The Wings are a very good team and they were tough on us early,“ Christ the King head coach Joe Arbitello said. “But we started to speed the game up on them a little bit in the second half. We forced them to play at a pace they didn't want to and we were able to finish strong.”

The Royals actually came out of the gate quickly in this one, as they led 11-4 in the first five minutes of the game. However, they quickly ran into a speed bump as the Wings peeled off a 10-0 run that put them right back into the game. Lewis, who didn’t miss a single first-half field goal, and Calhoun scored late baskets to put the Royals up 15-14 after one.

The second quarter wasn’t pretty for Christ the King as Jenkins got help from Damian Davis and Steven Gomez to put together a nice run that left them with a 34-29 lead at half time.

“We were getting beat on a lot of hustle plays and we were getting killed on the boards,” Arbitello explained. “Guys come out and they want to play Christ the King, it's the big game of the year for them. I think you saw that in the second quarter where they were really hyped up to play and we were a little flat.”

In the second half, the biggest thing that changed was the tempo of the game. Like they have done a few times already this season, the Royals picked up the pace of their game after half time and quickly closed in on the Wings lead and then started commanding the game in the fourth quarter.

“I think their experience just kicked in, in that fourth quarter,” said Wings head coach Billy Turnage. “In that type of a ball game, they have the advantage because I probably have just two guys who have done that before. The rest are playing under fire.”

Severe, who had been quiet offensively throughout most of the game, woke up and started making baskets. Calhoun also had a big fourth quarter and after he hit a three-pointer with just 2:02 left to put his team up 68-59, the game was over.

“That's the difference between Omar and a lot of players, Arbitello said. “He's just a little more productive. Some guys can rack up a lot of points, but he does it when it matters.”

Both teams will be in action on Friday in day three of the tournament. Christ the King is in the finals and will take on the winner of Thursday night’s Neumann Goretti (Pa.)/St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) game. The loser of that game will take on the Wings for third place.

Wings forward Fall commits to Radford

July, 6, 2011
After not playing that much as a junior, Wings Academy senior forward Amdy Fall dedicated himself to his game last summer.

He'd wake up early each morning and go work out with an AAU coach, spending about four hours working on his dribbling and shooting and whatever else he felt he needed to improve on.

He wanted to show his coaches at Wings Academy that he could play, but at the same time, had a deeper motivation.

"I needed to prove it to myself," Fall said.

This past year, Fall reaped the benefits with the Wings, averaging 12.6 points and 10.7 rebounds while helping Wings Academy to the Public Schools Athletic League Class "AA" semifinals. Tuesday, Fall was rewarded with another benefit: a Division I scholarship.

Fall verbally committed to Radford of the Big South on Tuesday and will leave for the Virginia-based school on Aug. 21. The forward chose the Highlanders over St. Peter's and Monmouth. He is a one-star recruit, according to ESPNU.

"Working those extra hours was really helpful," Fall said. "Last year, nobody was thinking about me being a Division I player. This year, after leading my team to victories, that's when everybody started calling and started watching me play."

Fall, who moved to Harlem from Senegal in 2008, started playing for Wings as a sophomore and averaged five points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but his rebounds took a hit as a junior when he averaged 5.8 points but just 5.9 rebounds.

This past season, he became one of the top players in the PSAL and helped Wings to an undefeated record in the regular season. His coach Billy Turnage called Fall a great player who has a bright future ahead of him.

"It was all that extra improvement," Turnage said. "He was a defensive presence who brought a lot of intensity and that led to a lot of victories for us."

The recruiting process did not go as smooth for Fall as expected, though. Since he spent his freshman year in Senegal, he had to get his transcript cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Fall said he never worried because he had good grades and figured it was only a matter of time before he was academically cleared. Turnage said Fall is a 90 student.

Once he received his clearance, Fall said that new Radford coach Mike Jones kept contacting him and showing interest. Jones came to Radford from VCU and Fall said he had a feeling he could go to Radford and be successful under Jones' tutelage.

Fall took his official visit two weeks ago and liked that Jones showed him around the campus and he think he's going to fit in well with the Highlanders.

"I'm defensive oriented but I'm versatile," Fall said. "I can do a lot of things. I'm faster than most forwards and can take them off the dribble. I can stand up and known down a jumper as well."

Rapid Reaction: PSAL Boys AA: No. 3 Wings 68, No. 14 Curtis 48

March, 2, 2011
NEW YORK – The Wings Academy Wings haven’t lost a league game all season, are 24-3 overall and their head coach Billy Turnage is still left wondering why his team can’t get any respect.

“I think we're the most scrutinized team in the city,” Turnage said. “We get scrutinized for the Bronx being too weak, they say we haven't played anybody, and we’re told that we don't have the marquee dudes.

“I would say we play with a chip on our shoulder, but it’s not a chip on our shoulder. It’s more like a boulder on our backs.”

No. 3 Wings tried to prove its skeptics wrong Wednesday night when it beat No. 14 Curtis , 68-48, in the Public Schools Athletic League's boys AA playoffs second round at Monroe high school in the Bronx .

It was the type of win that showed that Wings has multiple talented players on its starting roster as no one player dominated and three different players, Amdy Fall (14 points), Justin Jenkins (13 points), and Yosimar Bernardez (11 points) scored in double digits. Deonte Houston also played a strong game as he scored eight points with five assists and six rebounds.

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: It was Curtis (14-3) that jumped out to an early lead in this one as Kevin Mcintosh scored eight points before anyone else on the court could make a bucket. Down 8-0, Turnage quickly realized that this was a direction he did not want his team going in so he called a time out to talk to his players.

“Our one problem all season long has been the way we start a ball game,” Turnage explained. “This is playoff basketball and you can't have those early lulls. So I called a time out and just told them to relax and settle down.”

It was a different ball game after that as the Wings went on a 13-1 run to close out the quarter and end it with a 13-9 lead.

In the second quarter Jenkins got hot and Curtis couldn’t keep up with him. He scored seven points in the quarter as the Wings increased their lead to nine points. Jenkins took a backseat to Bernardez in the third quarter as the junior scored nine points in the quarter as the Wings lead increased to 19 points, 51-32.

After playing strong defense in the first three quarters, the Wings relaxed a little defensively in the fourth, but not before grabbing a 22-point lead. The final eight minutes was the only time in the game that Curtis was able to score at will, but it didn’t matter much as Fall stepped up his game as he scored 11 and seemingly matched Curtis basket for basket throughout the entire quarter.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors jumped out to that 8-0 lead early in the first quarter that left the Wings looking frustrated and beatable. If that pressure was kept up throughout the quarter it could have been an entirely different game. Unfortunately for them, Wings has a strong enough defense that held the Warriors in check until its offense had time to get rolling.

All during the first quarter, Wings got big blocks from Fall and Bernardez, four combined, that stopped some key shots from the Warriors. Even when the Warriors were able to get their shots off, they didn't get second chances as the Wings grabbed almost every rebound available in the first eight minutes.

“I like the way we play defense,” Turnage said. “I think this might be my best defensive team that I've had in my five years here. Now that I think about it, this is my best defense team.”

Going from up 8-0 to not being able to get anything at all for the final six minutes of the quarter demoralized Curtis, who never got back into the game until it was too late.

STAR OF THE GAME: This was a game where quite a few players shined. It was Jenkins who lead the team offensively with 13 points in the first half. In the third quarter it was Bernardez who scored nine points and it was Hall in the fourth quarter with 10.

Hall is the star of the game though because not only did he pick up 10 big points at the end, but he played strong defense throughout, picking up nine blocks and six rebounds. When he was under the net, he was wreaking havoc for the Warriors.

“The jump that young man has made from junior to senior year is absolutely incredible,” Turnage said about Hall. “People don't even realize that he was with us last year. He was there last year, but we had exceptional seniors so he didn't get to play as much as he would have somewhere else.”

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Dashawn Richmond is a very talented player on Curtis’ team, but he was a non-factor in this game. He came out with a lot of intensity, but no discipline, as he took two bad fouls in the first four minutes of the game that led to him being benched.

When he came back into the game, that early intensity was gone and he was ineffective. It was only late in the fourth quarter when he picked his game up and scored six points in just three minutes that he showed the true force that he can be.

QUOTE OF THE GAME: “We've been to the finals in the B, we've been to the finals in the A and we've been to the Final Four three times in the AA. We’re looking to get beyond that and prove to some people that we are the real deal.”--Turnage

UP NEXT: Next up for the Wings is the quarterfinals at St. John's University on Sunday. It will face the winner of Thursday's game between No. 6 Wadleigh and No. 11 Mckee Voc/Tech.

Game of the Week: Dozo vs. Wings

February, 18, 2011
WHO: No. 2 Cardozo vs. No. 3 Wings Academy

WHEN: Saturday, 4:15 p.m.

WHERE: Wadleigh High School, “Respect the Game” Invitational

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: In what should be an exciting days of boys hoops, this matchup between two of the top seeds in the Public Schools Athletic League AA Tournament will have some extra juice to it.

Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio said when he left the coaches recommendations seeding meeting, the coaches recommended the Judges be the No.3 seed. When the brackets were released, Cardozo was the No.4 Seed and Wings was the No.3 seed.

This game could be huge momentum for the winner going into the second round, while the loser might be questioning how good it is. If Wings loses, it will be its second loss in two games, matching its loss total in its first 24 games.

Wings Academy senior forward Amdy Fall
Wings Academy senior guard Gerrell Martin
Wings Academy senior guard Deonte Houston
Cardozo sophomore forward Jermaine Lawrence
Cardozo senior guard Shelton Mickell
Cardozo senior guard Christopher Gayot

Wings Academy: Billy Turnage
Cardozo: Ron Naclerio


WINGS (22-3, 19-0 BRONX AA)
Dec. 2: 98-49 win at James Monroe
Dec. 3: 72-66 win at Wadleigh
Dec. 7: 76-40 win at Lehman
Dec. 9: 75-36 win vs. Truman
Dec. 16: 82-54 win vs. Eagle Academy
Dec. 17: 89-37 win vs. MCSM
Dec. 21: 65-46 win vs. JFK
Jan. 4: 69-61 win vs. Gompers
Jan. 6: 54-27 win at JFK
Jan. 7: 76-27 win at W. 50th St. Campus
Jan. 8: 54-44 win at Curtis
Jan. 11: 108-43 win vs. James Monroe
Jan. 13: 95-55 win vs. Lehman
Jan. 18: 92-44 win at Truman
Jan. 28: 75-53 win vs. TMA
Feb. 1: 78-56 win at Eagle Academy
Feb. 3:
78-70 win at Gompers
Feb. 8:
98-47 win vs. South Bronx
Feb. 10:
61-40 win vs. Gompers
Feb. 12:
73-54 win vs. JFK

CARDOZO (25-1, 17-0 QUEENS AA)
Dec. 2: 66-54 win at Beach Channel/Channel View
Dec. 9: 101-47 win vs. Thomas Edison
Dec. 14: 55-46 win at Campus Magnet
Dec. 16: 71-44 win vs. Martin Van Buren
Dec. 21: 66-63 win vs. Bayside
Jan. 4: 77-44 win vs. Flushing
Jan. 6:
45-29 win at Bayside
Jan. 7:
56-56 vs. Forest Hills
Jan. 8:
67-48 win vs. Wadleigh
Jan. 11:
60-43 win vs. Beach Channel/Channel View
Jan. 18:
83-71 win at Thomas Edison
Jan. 20: 66-47 win vs. Campus magnet
Jan. 21: 54-50 win at Forest Hills
Feb. 1: 67-37 win at Martin Van Buren
Feb. 3: 63-47 win at Flushing
Feb. 8: 69-49 win vs. HS of Construction
Feb. 10: 66-50 win vs. Campus Magnet
Feb. 12: 62-43 win vs. Bayside