It’s not too early to get a peak at the rising high school basketball stars for next season. The 18th annual All City Classic will showcase some of the top players from the Philadelphia area. The games will be played at Community College of Philadelphia, 18th and Spring Garden streets on Wednesday, May 30. The first game will tip off at 5 p.m.
Team One: Sammy Foreman, Haverford School; Donovan Barnes, Imhotep; Dymir Logan, Imhotep; Tim Delany, Pitman (N.J.); Devin Liggeons, Imhotep; Levan Alston, Haverford School; Lamarr Kimble, Neumann-Goretti; Akeem King, Constitution; Derrik Jones, Archbishop Carroll, Kimar Williams, Constitution.
Team Two: Traci Carter, Prep Charter; Marcus Floyd, Phelps; Manny Taylor, Life Center; TreVaughn Wilkerson, Roman Catholic; Ahmad Gilbert, Constitution; Samir Doughty, Communications Tech; Chris Clover, St. Joseph’s Prep; Malik Ellison, Shipley; Malachi Richardson, Trenton Catholic, Mike Doyle, Penncrest.
Alternates: Carnell Harley, West Catholic; Tyrese Hestor, Math, Civics and Science; Vince Jackson, Academy of New Church.
Team One: Shep Garner, Roman Catholic; Basil Thompson, Imhotep; Pat Smith, Archbishop Wood; Jahyde Gardiner, Friere Charter; Antonio Toplyn, Neumann-Goretti; Malik Smith, Delaware Valley; Eric Anderson, Haverford School; Rashann London, Roman Catholic; Floyd Preito, Westtown; Malik Starkes, Math, Civics and Science.
Team Two: Ja’Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti, Conrad Chambers, Friends’ Central; Jamal Custis, Neumann-Goretti; Mustapha Traore, Prep Charter; Raheem Liggins, Prep Charter; Troy Harper, Neumann-Goretti; Louis Myers, Southern; Sean Lloyd, Franklin Learning Center; Malik Robinson, Father Judge; DeVante Mosely, Neumann-Goretti.
Alternates: Jamier Cross, Carroll; Quamier Johnson, World Communications.
Team One: Rysheed Jordan, Vaux; Brandon Austin, Imhotep; Robert Johnson, Lower Merion; Jeremiah Worthem, Math, Civics and Science; Quadir Welton, Math, Civics and Science; Dominique Reid, Timbercreek; Shafeek Taylor, Steven Griffin, Father Judge; Darius Robinson, Chester; Yahmir Greenlee, Boys’ Latin.
Team Two: Amar Stukes, La Salle; Karon Davis, Friends’ Central; Britton Lee, Roman Catholic; John Davis, Neumann-Goretti; Miles Overton, St. Joseph’s Prep; Stephen Vasturia, St. Joseph’s Prep; Semaj Reed, Haverford School; Yosef Yacob, Archbishop Carroll; Rondae Jefferson, Chester; Julian Moore, Germantown Academy.
When it comes to basketball, Philadelphia and New York have had some classic battles over the years. Well, there will be another one when these two cities face each other on Sunday, January 1, New Year’s Day in the fifth annual VILLA Classic, which showcases the top high school basketball teams from both cities. The games will be played at two local venues.
The tip-off will begin at Ben Franklin High School, 550 North Broad Street. The first game features Constitution High against Cardozo from New York City at noon. The second game will be Imhotep Charter and South Shore from New York at 3:45 p.m. Vaux will battle Boys and Girls High from New York immediately following the second contest.
After that, the high school basketball action will shift to Widener University, East 17th Street and Melrose Avenue in Chester for two games. Friends’ Central will play Wings Academy from New York at 6 p.m. In the final contest, Chester High will face Christ the King from New York at 7:45 p.m.
Fans will have an opportunity to see some of the best scholastic players from both cities. Constitution High has three outstanding players in 6-foot-6 senior Savon Goodman and 6-foot-2 senior Daiquan Walker. Imhotep Charter won the Public League and PIAA state championship last year. Imhotep’s key players are 6-foot-2 senior Khyree Wooten and 6-foot-6 junior Brandon Austin.
Vaux also has a terrific young player in 6-foot-4 junior Rysheed Jordan who has a lot of talent. Amille Jefferson is regarded as one of the top 24 high school players in the country. Jefferson, a 6-foot-8 senior, plays for Friends’ Central. Rondae Jefferson is a major player for Chester High. Jefferson, a 6-foot-5 junior swingman, led the Clippers to the PIAA Class AAAA state title last season. Jefferson’s older brother Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson plays basketball for Temple.
Omar King is a terrific player for Christ the King. He should be a player to watch in this great rivalry.
It’s going to be high school basketball at its finest, featuring the top scholastic teams from Philly and New York City in the sixth annual VILLA Classic. Five games will be played at Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road in Glenside on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The first game will tip off at noon between Camden and Wings Academy, N.Y. Philadelphia Electric & Technology (PET) will face Thomas Jefferson, N.Y., at 1:45 p.m. In the third contest, Math, Civics & Sciences will battle South Shore, N.Y., at 3:30 p.m. In the fourth game, Imhotep Charter will clash with Lincoln, N.Y., at 5:30 p.m. The final game will be Vaux against Bishop Loughlin, N.Y., at 7 p.m.
This roundball classic features a number of outstanding players from the Public League. Jai Williams and Hakeem Baxter are two sensational players for PET. Williams, a 6-foot-9 senior, averaged 10.2 points a game last season. He has already given a verbal commitment to Saint Joseph’s University. Baxter, a 6-foot-2 senior, is a solid Division I prospect.
Math, Civics & Sciences should be a real powerhouse. The Mighty Elephants have three Division I signees — 6-foot-7 senior Jeremiah Worthem, 6-foot-8 senior Quadir Welton and 5-foot-11 senior Britton Lee.
Imhotep Charter, defending PIAA Class AA state champions, have two big-time players in 6-foo-6 senior Brandon Austin and 6-foot-6 front-court standout Nigel Grant. Austin just scored 25 pointsin Imhotep’s 61-56 win over St. Joseph’s Prep. Austin will be headed to Providence next season.
Vaux has a real special player with Rysheed Jordan, who is regarded as one of the top 25 high school players in the nation. Jordan recently tallied 22 points to lead Vaux to a 66-61 victory over St. Andrew’s School of Delaware. The 6-foot-3 senior guard has narrowed his choices down to UCLA, Temple and St. John’s.
If you had a chance to see Rysheed Jordan play in Roberts Vaux High School’s exciting 62-61 Public League playoff victory Saturday night over Math, Civics and Sciences, then you saw with your own eyes why he’s a terrific basketball player. Jordan, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior, hit the winning foul shot with a tenth of a second remaining to give Vaux a huge win and the Class A championship.
Now, Vaux will face Martin Luther King in the Public League semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6:45 p.m. The game will be played at Southern in what should be another big matchup.
By the way, Southern was the site where Jordan put on quite a show down the stretch leading his team to victory. But making the crucial foul shot in front of a boisterous crowd bursting at the seams was really impressive. He had made two foul shots to tie the game at 61-61 with 10 seconds left. Then, after a steal Vaux called timeout. Vaux got the ball to Jordan who exploded up the floor and was fouled going to the basket. That’s where all the drama started. Jordan missed the first foul shot, but made the second. He was cool under pressure.
“I shoot foul shots every day in practice,” Jordan said. “I knew I was going to make one of them. I missed the first one because I rushed it. I took my time on the second one and made it.
“It was on me. I really wanted to win. This is the first time in my high school basketball career that I made it to the Final Four (Public League semifinals). I just worked hard and kept playing even when we were down.”
Vaux did trail at halftime 38-28. They were also down in the fourth quarter by as much as six. Jordan didn’t let that stop him. He had a tremendous game scoring 29 points, pulling down eight rebounds, handing out five assists and coming up with five steals.
Jordan did it on the big stage against MC&S, the city’s top ranked team with a 23-1 record.
“We put the ball in his hands in those situations to make something happen,” said Jamie Ross, Vaux head coach. “If he can get fouled, get to the basket or hit a big shot. We’ve been depending on him all year. Like I said, he played real big today. He’s not selfish, a couple times he passed the ball. That’s just him and his nature being a point guard and an unselfish kid.”
He may be unselfish, but Jordan is a special player, too. He’s one of the top players in the country. He’s the No. 1 scorer (25.9 ppg) in the city. The soft-spoken superstar has a great following in the city, particularly from his neighborhood and school. Two weeks ago, he was interviewed on ESPN2 during a nationally televised game between Chester High and Neumann-Goretti. He has narrowed his college choices down to UCLA, Temple and St. John’s. Wherever he goes throughout the area, people always ask him what school he’ll choose. He handles everything very calmly.
“I keep telling everybody I’m going to make my decision in the spring after my high school career is over,” Jordan said.
Right now, Jordan has a lot on his mind with the league playoffs.
Shafeek (17), Malik Starkes (15), Louis Myers (12) and Jeremiah Worthem (11) led the way for MC&S.
In other playoff action, David Johnson scored a game-high 25 points to lead Communications Tech to a 78-75 win over Constitution. Johnson, a 5-foot-11 senior, shot 9-for-11 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point range.
“I’m a senior,” Johnson said. “I have to step up at the end of the game. I got to do that. I have some great teammates like Terrence (Brown) and Samir Doughty. They really help me out.”
Johnson has been a bright spot for the Phoenix throughout the season. Lou Biester, Communications Tech head coach, has been very pleased with his efforts.
“He’s been very consistent all year,” Biester said. “He’s always under control. He’s very sure of himself. I can rely on him.”
Floyd Preito, Constitution High shooting guard, had a team-high 24 points in a losing effort.
Communications Tech will face Imhotep Charter in the semifinals at 5 p.m. at Southern. Imhotep Charter defeated Philadelphia Electrical & Technology, 51-43. Jakwan Jones had 16 points, Basil Thompson and Brandon Austin had 10 and seven points respectively. Hakeem Baxter had a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds for PET.
Martin Luther King spanked Bartram, 63-46. Raquan Brown-Johnson was the team’s high scorer with 24 points. Fa’Teem Glenn, Cougars point guard, finished with 21. Khayri Washington had 16 points for Bartram.
Jamie Ross, Vaux High School head basketball coach, knows what time of year it is. It’s playoff time in the Public League. When it comes to the playoffs, Ross has a lot of knowledge and experience.
In 1988, as a player, he helped to lead Frankford High to a 71-64 victory over West Philadelphia High in four overtimes. It was one of the league’s most exciting championship games.
“That was a great win for us,” said Ross, who played his college basketball at Eastern Kentucky. “We had Carlin and Jason Warley on that team. But we couldn’t have won it without Cori Lewis, Jeffrey Mack, Kevin Newton and all the other guys. It was a great experience.”
Ross, a second-year head coach at Vaux, is preparing his team for the league playoffs, which begin today. The Cougars won’t play until Thursday afternoon. They have a bye in the first round. Vaux will have a chance to wait and see who its opponent will be when they take the court in a couple days.
Vaux is one of the top teams in the Public League. Rysheed Jordan, a 6-foot-4 junior guard, is a terrific player. Jordan averages 16.5 points a game and is regarded as one of the best players in the city. Shawn Williams, a 6-foot senior guard, is capable of scoring from the backcourt. Williams is averaging 13.1 points a game. James Cole, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, is the Cougars second leading scorer, averaging 15.8 points a game.
“We won’t play in the first round,” Ross said. “We have to get ready for Thursday. I really like our team. Rysheed Jordan played very well. Rysheed is pulling up and taking his jumpshot now. He can take the ball to the basket. But I like the way he’s taking advantage of the open shot. He has a lot of talent. He had a real good summer at the Reebok Camp.
“Shawn Williams has done a nice job for our team. He’s had some big games. Shawn has been a big help. We’ve received contributions from a lot of different players. Kyseem Roberts (5-foot-10 guard) has been handing the ball for us. We had Synquel Cottman who came off the bench to score seven points in the last two minutes and hit the winning shot. The thing I like about our team is everybody contributes. The guys are very competitive. I really enjoy coaching them.”
A year ago, Vaux made a strong run in the postseason. Ross believes the success and experience could serve his team well this year.
“We lost in the Final Eight in the Public League playoffs,” Ross said. “We also made it to the Final Eight in the PIAA playoffs. We lost to Philadelphia Electric in the Public League playoffs. Then, we lost to Imhotep in the PIAA playoffs. I thought we played well last year. We went pretty far. We have some players back from that team. I think the playoffs should be really good. We have a lot of good teams in the league. We’re looking forward to the competition.”
NOTES: The preliminary round of the league playoffs begins today at 3:15 p.m. throughout the city.
Parkway at World Communications
Philadelphia Academy at Communications Tech
Mastery North at Esperanza
Hope Charter at Prep Charter
Masterman at Strawberry Mansion
Sayre at Freire Charter
Dobbins at Bok
West Philadelphia at Roxborough
Overbrook at Central
Southern at Northeast
Simon Gratz at Olney
Lincoln at Washington
Kensington at Frankford
There could be a representative from the Philadelphia area in the McDonald’s All American game. There are several local players that have been nominated to play in this prestigious high school basketball game, which features the top players in the nation.
Rondae Jefferson, Chester High’s 6-foot-7 senior, heads the lists of scholastic standouts from the Delaware Valley. Jefferson will play his college basketball at the University of Arizona next season. Rysheed Jordan, Vaux High’s 6-foot-4 senior, leads the Public League in scoring. Jordan averages 24.0 points a game. Jordan is being recruited by UCLA, Temple and St. John’s.
Jefferson and Jordan are joined by Brandon Austin (Imhotep Charter), John Davis (Neumann-Goretti), Quadir Welton (Math, Civics & Sciences), Miles Overton (St. Joseph’s Prep), Stephen Vasturia (St. Joseph’s Prep), Jai Williams, (Philadelphia Electric Charter School), Quadir Welton (Math, Civics & Sciences), Julian Moore (Germantown Academy), Yosef Yacob (Archbishop Carroll), B.J. Johnson (Lower Merion), Greg Dotson (Germantown Academy) and Amar Stukes (La Salle).
A complete list of McDonald’s All American Game nominees is available at www.mcdaag.com. The final roster of 24 boys who will be selected to play in the game will be announced during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU on Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. The game will be played on April 3 at 9:30 p.m. from Chicago’s United Center and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Roberts Vaux High School will face Math, Civics & Sciences in what should be a huge PIAA Class A semifinal at Ben Franklin High School on Tuesday, March 19. The tipoff for this key matchup is 6 p.m.
This game will feature the city’s top player in 6-foot-3 senior Rysheed Jordan, who put on quite a performance the last time these two teams met in the Public League playoffs. In that game, Jordan scored 29 points in a 62-61 victory over Math, Civics & Sciences.
Following that, Jordan put on a big show in a losing effort in the league championship game. He had 45 points as Imhotep Charter edged Vaux 67-66 at the Liacouras Center. Jordan averages 25.9 points a game.
The MC&S Elephants have been playing some great basketball. They’re led by 6-foot-7 senior Jeremiah Worthem, 6-foot-3 junior Louis Myers and 5-foot-11 Britton Lee. Worthem averages 17.4 points a game. Myers and Lee have been in double figures in scoring the last three games. They’ve been two of the team’s most consistent players.
All PIAA semifinals will be played Tuesday, March 19.
In the Class AAA semifinal, Imhotep Charter will face Donegal at Reading’s Geigle Complex. The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. Imhotep Charter is the Public league champion. Brandon Austin has been its most outstanding player.
Archbishop Carroll will battle Montour at Chambersburg. This contest will start at 7 p.m. Yosef Yacob, Archbishop Carroll’s 6-foot senior, will be the player to watch for the Patriots.
In the Class AAAA semifinal, St. Joseph’s Prep will battle a real powerhouse in Chester High. The game will be played at Coatesville. The tipoff will be at 7 p.m. The Clippers are led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a McDonald’s All-American, who will play for the University of Arizona next season. St. Joseph’s Prep will depend on seniors 6-foot-5 Stephen Vasturia and 6-foot-4 Miles Overton. Vasturia is headed to Notre Dame next season. Overton will play for Wake Forest. Two months ago, Chester spanked Neumann-Goretti in a non-conference game. N-G defeated St. Joseph’s Prep for the Catholic League title. This should be an interesting matchup with a trip to the state championship on the line.
Rysheed Jordan, Roberts Vaux High’s outstanding senior, announced via Twitter on Thursday that he will be playing his college basketball at St. John’s University. Jordan, a 6-foot-4 senior, tweeted his commitment to play for the Red Storm. After that,he offered his thoughts on his college destination in a interview by phone. He selected St. John’s over Temple and UCLA.
“I’m going to play for a great coach in Steve Lavin,” Jordan said. “We should be able to run the ball, and me being a young player, I fall right into it. I’m the piece that they’re missing at point guard. It was a very difficult (decision), I love Temple, but I can’t stay home. It’s too close to home. As far as UCLA, once the coach (Ben Howland) got fired I wasn’t really interested.”
St. John’s finished the season with a 17-16 overall record. The Red Storm lost to the University of Virginia in the second round of the NIT.
Jordan is one of the top high school players in the country. He averaged 24.8 points a game this season. He helped Vaux win the PIAA Class A state championship, defeating Johnsonburg, 83-63. In the state title game, he scored a game-high 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting from the field. He also had six rebounds and four assists.
Prior to that, Jordan led Vaux to the Public League championship game before losing to Imhotep Charter, 67-66. He scored an amazing 45 points in a losing effort in the league title game. It was one of the most impressive performances of the season. Jordan, a multi-talented player, can score, pass, rebound and play defense. Jamie Ross, Vaux head coach, feels he will be able to make a sold contribution to the Red Storm basketball program.
“I look forward to seeing him play next year,” Ross said. “I think he’s going to fit in well at the next level. He’s a do-it-all guard. But the thing about him is that he listens. He’s coachable. Whatever coach asks him to do he’ll do to get better. He’ll do it. I think over the course of the year he’ll progressively get better.”
Jordan was recently named the winner of the 2013 Phoenix Award as the most outstanding senior basketball player in the Public League. He is one of several Philadelphia area high school players headed to Division I schools next season.
Rysheed Jordan has produced a lot of big moments for Roberts Vaux High School throughout his basketball career. Jordan has a chance to bring a great deal of excitement on Friday, March 22 when Vaux meets Johnsonburg High School for the PIAA Class A state championship. The game will begin at 2 p.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.
“It feels great,” Jordan said. “I’ve never been there before, now I can see what it feels like.”
Vaux defeated Math, Civics & Sciences, 83-68 in the Class A state semifinals at Ben Franklin High School on Tuesday. Jordan, a 6-foot-3 senior, had 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. But Jordan wasn’t the only spectacular player. His teammate Sammy Forman, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, had a game-high 28 points.
“He really stepped up,” Jordan said. “It was impressive. I’ve seen him do it before in the neighborhood.”
Vaux, a neighborhood school in North Philadelphia, has been stellar throughout the season. Jordan anticipates a great following to the state title game.
“Hopefully, they’ll load their cars up and follow behind us,” Jordan said. “We went to the Public League championship and lost, but maybe we can get this one.”
Imhotep edged Vaux, 67-66, to win the league crown. Jordan had an amazing performance on that day scoring 45 points.
In other semifinal action, Imhotep Charter nipped Donegal, 56-54 to advance to the Class AAA state final. Imhotep Charter will face Archbishop Carroll for the state championship on Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m. in Hershey. Carroll beat Montour, 50-45 in the semifinals.
On Saturday, March 23, Chester will battle Lower Merion for the Class AAAA state championship. The game will begin at 8 p.m. in Hershey. The Clippers are the defending state champs. They also defeated the Aces two weeks ago in the district title game. Chester spanked St. Joseph’s Prep, 62-53 to get to the state title game. Lower Merion topped New Castle, 67-63, to land in the state championship tilt.
All the state championship games will be televised live on PCN (The Pennsylvania Cable Network).
Brandon Austin has played some big time basketball in his scholastic career at Imhotep Charter. Austin, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound senior, had to play some great basketball in order to hold off Roberts Vaux and its outstanding player Rysheed Jordan to post a 67-66 victory to help Imhotep Charter capture the Public League championship.
Austin had 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for his efforts. He needed a game like this especially with Jordan scorching the Panthers for a game high 45 points. Austin needed some help from his teammates as well because he fouled out with 45 seconds remaining in the game.
“I believe in my team,” Austin said. “My team was there. We had each other coming down the stretch. So, this is a blessing from God. I was pretty nervous because Vaux is a very good team in closing games out. He’s (Rysheed Jordan) a very good player. We’re good friends. It was just a good game out there. It feels good to be back out there on top as a champion.”
Jordan was nothing short of spectacular. He knocked down 21-for-23 shots from the free throw line. But it seemed like whenever the game was on the line, Jordan delivered with a clutch shot, including a 26 foot three point shot down the stretch. Jordan, a 6-foot-3 senior, will make his college decision in the spring. His final three choices are UCLA, Temple and St. John’s.
Austin will be playing Division I basketball at Providence. He’s certainly one of the best players in the Philadelphia area. His teammates aren’t too shabby either. Abraham Massaley, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound point guard, scored the winning basket. Massaley had seven points including some crucial foul shots. Deryl Bagwell was the team’s second leading scorer with 15 points. Basil Thompson had nine points and nine rebounds.
“Everybody contributed (to the championship),” Austin said. “I trusted my team. Now, we got the ball back and the championship. That’s all it is. It’s the team.”
Andre Noble, Imhotep Charter head coach, has watched Austin develop over his scholastic career. Of course, Austin had one of the biggest shots of the game. He made a 23-foot three-pointer that banked in off the glass. It was one of many big shots by the Panthers.
“He’s made a lot of big shots obviously in his career,” Noble said. “But he got a lot of help from his teammates. I’m really proud of them.”