By Michael McAllister
Over the weekend, the 2nd annual Mary Kline Classic took place. This event is different than most high school all-start events. It raises money for cancer. The event was extremely successful, raising over $20,000 for cancer research. From NBE Basketball
on the event:
The event was created last year by RecruitScoop founder Alex Kline. Just 17 years old, the recruiting guru used his relationships with some of the best players in the country to bring them all together to play in memory of his late mother Mary, who died of a brain tumor when he was ten years old. Despite the compliments he’s received for being able to bring together such an extraordinary group of talent for such a great cause, Kline has continually said that he’s only doing it so his mother is remembered and honored the right way.
The event held two games. One for underclassmen, and one for seniors. The event also featured a slam dunk contest and three-point contest. Some Syracuse recruiting targets stood out, despite not having anyone in the senior game.
The dunk contest featured Wayne Selden (2014 SG) and Rondae Jefferson (2013 SF). They would face each other in the finals, and would share the dunk contest title. Jefferson included a dunk where he jumped over a 6'10" AAU teammate, and Selden would show off his powerful dunks. Here are some highlights:
The three-point contest saw 2015 forward prospect Karl Towns reach the finals before losing. Towns is a 6'11" 15 year old who already holds an offer from Kentucky, among others. He has been extremely impressive this summer.
In the underclassmen game, Jermaine Lawrence won MVP for his squad, scoring 27 points. His ascent continues, as he's been dominant this summer in AAU play and tournaments like this. The 2013 forward was just a 3-star, largely unknown prospect before the summer. Now, he's rising up the rankings and receiving interest from everyone, including Syracuse. Said the New York Post
about his play:
Emphatic dunks, feathery 3-point shots, impressive moves around the hoop -- Jermaine Lawrence showed his entire arsenal Saturday afternoon....
The performance was just the latest impressive display by the Jamaica, Queens native in what has become a breakout spring. He dazzled in back-to-back weekends in Hoop Group Jam Fest showcases in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with the New Rens, his AAU team, showed limitless range and an explosive finishing ability in the lane.
Following last weekend, he landed scholarship offers from Baylor, Kansas, UNLV, Temple and Florida to go along with existing ones from Syracuse, St. John's, Maryland, Louisville, Villanova, Rutgers and Cincinnati, among others.
Lawrence's teammate for the event was Tyler Ennis. Ennis told us that he scored 24 points and handed out a few assists as well in his team's 143-122 victory. Isaiah Briscoe, Ennis' high school teammate and brother of current Syracuse women's star Iasia Hemingway, scored 17 points. The Recruit Scoop
had the following to say about the two guards:
Both were extremely impressive and worked very well together on the court; just as they have all year. Ennis used his variety of speeds to change the pace of the game and shot the ball very well from long range. He also showed a strong ability to slash and finish at the hole. Briscoe's ability and size as a freshman is a uncanny of current NBA guard Randy Foye because of the way he runs the point and scores the ball, along with his strength and girth. Syracuse is recruiting both guards extremely hard as Jim Boeheim wants both on board.
2013 forward prospect Tyler Roberson finished with 19 points and 4 rebounds. According to The Recruit Scoop:
Roberson finished inside with floaters, layups and dunks around the rim as his point guards, Sina and Temple-bound Josh Brown, accounted for much of Roberson's success by setting him up down low. An aggressive force on the boards, Roberson proved why he is one of the premier forwards in the junior class. Syracuse, Villanova, Cincinnati, South Carolina, Rutgers and many others like the talented rising senior, but Roberson has yet to make any serious decisions about his recruitment or where he will visit. His New Jersey Roadrunners teammate, and point guard, Hakim Saintil, may attempt to do a package deal to college with him.
Wayne Selden told us he played well, but it was the experience that was the best part about the event. Isaiah Whitehead, who still lists Syracuse as his favorite, was unable to participate as he recovers from a tailbone injury he suffered in IS8 play (a New York City league).
Here are some highlights from the event: Photo credit: NY Daily News