Antawn Dobie wasn’t his usual cocky and confident self. The 6-foot guard lost his footing a bit as a long 3-point pointer left his hand with the shot clock winding down late in the fourth quarter. Dobie had only the worst of outcomes in his head.
Instead the exactly opposite happened. The former Monsignor McClancy standout’s ball hit nothing but net in front of his Money Train team’s bench. The bomb of a shot, four feet behind the 3-point line, was the final dagger in the defending champion’s 83-70 win over Bingo’s All-Stars in the Tri State Classic quarterfinals in Harlem last Saturday night. It also capped a torrid second half for Dobie where he scored 14 of his 18 points and made key plays on both ends.
“By the grace of God it hugged the rim enough and it went in,” said Dobie, nicknamed Anti-Freeze. …“I finish the game strong with big shots. When it went in I thought, ‘My grace is still going. The big shots in the fourth quarter are still here with me.’”
He has already unofficially changed New York City’s name to Freeze City for the month of August, his favorite of the summer. Dobie, who played his college ball at Long Island University, recognizes it as the one where streetball championships are won, something he is no stranger to. He collected five in 2008 when he wore the numbers 3 and 4, something he is doing again, and would like nothing more than to repeat the feat this year. Dobie has already won a Nike Pro City championship with Gold’s Gym and also plays in Dyckman, Hoops in the Sun, Watson and 136th.
“Everyone says I look so cool during the season, it’s because you don’t win championships during the season,” Dobie said. “You win championships during August. While everybody else has their big July, big June, I’d rather have a big August because then I’m the last one standing.”
He played winning basketball Saturday night in the second half. He found open teammates, especially Darren Phillip, who netted 15 of his 23 points after the break. Dobie hit jumpers, contained Keydren Clark and showed off his signature tear-drop floater in the lane. It is a shot he learned in high school after getting blocked too many times putting the ball up underhand. Phillip put it on par with that of former NBA player Juan Carlos Navaro, who he played against in Spain.
“Once I get it off I don’t care if you’re Dwight Howard, you are not going to get it. It’s too high,” Dobie said.
Added Phillip: “He is one of the best point guards in the city.”
The elusive Dobie has enjoyed a long career overseas since finishing at LIU in 2003. He has played in France, three years in Turkey, Poland and Belgium. Last season he was in Argentina where he split time with Lanus and Quisma. Dobie is unsure where he will take his game next year.
“I could have signed now,” he said. “I’m waiting and being patent. My resume speaks for itself, so I don’t have to rush into any deal if I don’t want to.”
He still has some unfinished business to attend to multiple streetball titles he aspires to win during August in Freeze City.
“Hopefully I can get all six,” Dobie said. “But I’ll take five. I’m trying to be greedy. Second place is for the best loser.”