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NBA players Ben Gordon and Jason Kidd served as honorary coaches for the two teams that were named in honor of the most revered Rucker Park legends of their respective eras, the late Earl Manigault of Harlem and Rafer Alston of Queens, the latter an NBA veteran.
The game was the plot of Gunnin' For That #1 Spot, a documentary directed by Adam Yauch, a founding member of the pioneering Hip-Hop group the Beastie Boys. The documentary centered on Jennings, Beasley, Tyreke Evans of American Christian (Aston, Pa.), Donte Green of Towson Catholic (Towson, Md.), Kevin Love of Lake Oswego (Lake Oswego, Ore.), Kyle Singler of South Medford (Medford, Ore.) and Lance Stephenson of Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.). It opened in theaters in June 2008. Six of the movie subjects are now in the NBA, while Singler helped Duke win the 2010 NCAA Title and Stephenson chosen in this year's NBA Draft.2007 The Goat squad defeated Skip To My Lou, 169-164, but the final score paled in comparison to the great individual battle between 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and Coney Island's finest, Lance Stephenson.
Meanwhile, Goat's Brandon Jennings out-did his 2006 assist total (15) by dropping 23 dimes. Rucker Park legend Rafer Alston, who started the modern-day streetball craze when his wicked moves were filmed by his coach Ron Naclerio, joined Baron Davis as an honorary coach.
It was the second consecutive year a Cali product who learned his craft on the playground served as honorary coach. Kidd toughened up his game at Mosswood Park in Oakland before winning two CIF state titles at St. Joseph (Alameda, Calif.). Davis, learned his craft at South Park Elementary in South Los Angeles before earning Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball honors at Crossroads (Santa Monica, Calif.), a school not too far from Venice Beach.2008
Explosive point guard John Wall from Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) scored 10 points for Skip, and he had the highlight dunks of the night: a monster tomahawk and a southpaw jam in traffic. Lance Stephenson of Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all scorers with 29 points in a losing effort for the Goat squad. Strickland followed up his dunk contest victory with a 17-point performance.Dwayne "Tiny" Morton, Stephenson's coach at Lincoln, teamed with NBA star Chauncey Billups to coach Skip To My Lou. Coaching Goat was Ron Naclerio, Skip's high school coach, with assistance from another Queens product, 1989 ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Kenny Anderson of Archbishop Malloy (Jamaica, N.Y.), who played at Georgia Tech and in the NBA. 2009
Despite some fatigue, offense came easily in Skip To My Lou's 133-120 win over Goat thanks to MVP performances by shooting guard Doron "Smooth Criminal" Lamb and Tobias "Nobody's Smiling" Harris, both New York natives. Lamb, a 6-foot-4 wing from Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), led all scorers with 23 points. He added six rebounds and five assists. Harris, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Half Hollow Hills West (Dix Hills, N.Y.), added 20 points and five rebounds.
The game's highlight was an emphatic dunk by Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.) guard Josh Selby. He took two power dribbles down the right side, elevated over a startled Kendall Marshall of Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) and threw it down with authority.
Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) forward C.J. Leslie finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots to earn co-MVP honors for Goat with Selby, nicknamed "Talk of the Town" by Bobbito Garcia. Selby's high-flying antics resulted in a team-high 18 points, not to mention six spectacular assists.Dwayne "Tiny" Morton of Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) again coached Skip To My Lou with help from Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, another Oak Hill product, and Elite 24 alumn Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings). Influential New York Post basketball writer and Rucker Park veteran Peter "The Viper" Vecsey coached Goat with help from Elite 24 alumni Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks).
Shaquille Johnson of Milton (Milton, Ga.) kicked off the event by winning the Under Armour Slam Dunk Contest. Johnson figured he'd have to outclass high flyers such as Savon Goodman of Constitution (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) to win, but he never figured he'd have to defeat a NBA player.
That's exactly what Johnson accomplished, using three perfect scores to defeat Goodman and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Forty-eight minutes before the start of the game before an overflow crowd and live ESPNU television audience, Mitch McGary of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) took a between-the-legs-off-the-backboard lob from Aquille Carr of Patterson (Baltimore, Md.) and shattered the backboard into hundreds pieces, sending the players and capacity crowd into a state of pandemonium.
McGary's dunk pumped Carr up and the diminutive point guard kept the crowd alive with his athletic moves and pinpoint passing. He finished with 21 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and an event record four steals for the Raymond Lewis squad, but it wasn't enough as the Marques Johnson squad used an 18-6 run to open the second half to propel its 142-132 victory.
Point guard Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), finished with 18 points and eight assists, while Justin Anderson (no relation) added 23 points. They were named co-MVPs for the victorious Marques Johnson squad. Carr and Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), who added 25 points and nine rebounds, were named co-MVPs for Ray Lew.Tyreke Evans and fellow Under Armour Elite 24 alumni Kemba Walker and John Wall helped coach the Marques Johnson club while Brandon Jennings and Kevin Love assisted the Ray Lew team.