The borough known for hoops enjoyed another exceptional season on the hardwood. Boys & Girls won its first PSAL title since 1979, winning the AA crown, and Bedford Academy claimed the B championship, its first city title of any kind.
Led by McDonald’s All-American Jayvaughn Pinkston, Bishop Loughlin reached the CHSAA Class AA intersection final, but fell to Christ the King in a triple-overtime thriller.
All-Brooklyn boys basketball Player of the Year: Jayvaughn Pinkston, Bishop Loughlin
Our preseason Player of the Year, Pinkston lived up to the hype, becoming the first player in Bishop Loughlin history to earn McDonald’s All-American honors. The 6-foot-6 man-child led the CHSAA Class AA in scoring, averaging 24.2 points per game, a number that ballooned in the postseason.
Always a dominant low-post player, Pinkston became more well-rounded this year, consistently scoring from beyond the arc. The Villanova-bound senior ended his high school career with a bang, scoring a game-high 34 points in a triple-overtime loss to Christ the King in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title game.
“I’m his biggest fan. I don’t think he gets enough credit on how great of a player he is,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “He’s real physical. If there’s a fight in the paint for the ball, Jayvaughn Pinkston is coming up with the ball. I think once he gets to Villanova, we’re going to be talking about him going to the NBA.”
All-Brooklyn boys basketball Coach of the Year: Ruth Lovelace, Boys & Girls
She became the first female coach to lead a boys team to a PSAL city title in its highest classification, and in doing so ended Boys & Girls’ 31-year drought without a crown.
“It means everything to me,” Lovelace said.
But to solely focus on those accomplishments overlooks the job Lovelace, with help from longtime assistant Elmer Anderson, did this season.
Boys & Girls was without starters Leroy Fludd, Mike Taylor and Antione Slaughter for integral parts of the season, but Lovelace got others – such as reserves Jerry White, Anthony Hemingway and Brandon Williams – to emerge. She made tough decisions, but they always panned out.
Her best job came in the memorable city championship victory over Cardozo. Boys & Girls trailed by 12 points early, but rallied for a 55-50 victory. Down the stretch, with a title on the line, the Kangaroos were focused and intense, but not tight. That’s a credit to their coaching staff.
ALL-BROOKLYN FIRST TEAM
G Justin Exum, Xaverian
The 6-foot-2 unsigned senior shooting guard was a silent assassin for Xaverian. A devastating long-distance shooter, Exum averaged 20.8 points per game, third best in the CHSAA Class AA. Although two of his biggest shots, deep late-game daggers against St. Francis Prep and Bishop Loughlin, came in losses.
G Branden Frazier, Bishop Loughlin
The 6-foot-3 shooting guard kept opposing defenders honest with his long distance shooting. The Fordham-bound senior averaged 14.7 points per game, but stepped up his game in the playoffs. Frazier scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half as the Lions defeated Rice in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals.
F Leroy Isler, Boys & Girls
One of the top unsigned seniors in the city, Isler was the glue that held Boys & Girls together. The 6-foot-6 forward added versatility to his offensive game, which meshed well with his in-your-face, low-post defense and rebounding prowess. Despite playing with a badly sprained ankle in the Kangaroos’ city championship victory over Cardozo, he made a difference.
G Shaquille Stokes, Lincoln
Thrust into a starring role, the 5-foot-11 Stokes produced for Lincoln, averaging a Brooklyn AA-high 23 points per game. There were game-winning shots and high-scoring performances. Although the Railsplitters’ four-year reign atop the city came to a close, the junior guard did his best to make sure it continued.
G Mike Taylor, Boys & Girls
The 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard wrote his name into Boys & Girls lore in March by lifting the Kangaroos to their first city championship since 1979. He scored 30 points in a dominant semifinal win over Wings Academy and had 25 against Cardozo in the final, scoring 20 points in the second half. The clutch performances won’t soon be forgotten in Bed Stuy.
ALL-BROOKLYN SECOND TEAM
F Rhamel Brown, Transit Tech
Manhattan College is getting a steal in the 6-foot-6 senior who led Transit Tech to the PSAL Class AA semifinals. The city’s best shot-blocker enjoyed his finest moments during a playoff run that included upsets of John F. Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson.
G Kareem Canty, Bishop Loughlin
After a nondescript regular season, Canty picked up his game in the playoffs. The junior guard beat the buzzer with a game-winning floater to lift Loughlin over Xaverian in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan semifinals and then exploded for 16 first-half points against Christ the King in the B/Q final.
G David Coley, Thomas Jefferson
One of the top five athletes in the entire city, Coley led Jefferson to the PSAL Class AA quarterfinals, averaging 16 points and five rebounds per game. The senior guard is a shutdown defender, accurate 3-point shooter and heady leader. Stony Brook will be pleased.
G Darrel Lucky, Robeson
Putting Lucky on the second team was difficult, considering the numbers he put up in the toughest division in the city. He lit up every quality opponent he faced – from Lincoln to Boys & Girls, Thomas Jefferson and Wadleigh. No wonder a host of Division I mid-major programs are after this combo guard.
F Vinny Marchiano, St. Edmund Prep
When the 6-foot-3 senior swingman heated up, he was unstoppable offensively. Marchiano averaged 18.8 points per game, second in the CHSAA ‘A,’ and became just the third in program history to score 1,000 career points.
ALL-BROOKLYN THIRD TEAM
G Abe Akanmu, Xaverian
The heartbeat of the Clippers, the Staten Island native was the epitome of a throwback point guard. The Queens College-bound senior was an excellent leader and passer and averaged 7.4 points per game, mostly on drives to the basket and free throws.
G Davonte Dunham, Bishop Loughlin
Like Canty, Dunham stepped up when it most counted. The 6-foot-2 junior guard was Bishop Loughlin’s third leading scorer at 8.4 points per game and was one of the Lions top contributors in their run to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title game.
G Matt Hall, Bishop Ford
When on his game, few in New York City could stroke it from long distance like Hall. The 6-foot-2 unsigned senior guard, who has drawn interest from New Haven among several Division II schools, helped lead Bishop Ford to the CHSAA A-South division title.
G Brent Jones, Bedford Academy
The 6-foot guard saved his best for last, scoring 34 points to lift Bedford Academy to its first city championship of any kind. The senior became an extension of new coach Robert Phelps, an all-time player in his day at Nazareth, got the most out of his teammates and produced when the moment came.
G Antoine Slaughter, Boys & Girls
Boys & Girls’ heartbeat, it all started with Slaughter. The blur of a point guard led the Kangaroos’ transition attack and drove opposing guards crazy with his intense, on-the-ball pressure defense. Only a junior, expect the 5-foot-7 Slaughter to emerge even further next winter.
All-Brooklyn honorable mention
G Brian Bernardi, Xaverian
G Bryan Garvey, St. Edmund Prep
G Davontay Grace, Thomas Jefferson
G Justyn McMichael, Bishop Ford
F Kamari Murphy, Lincoln