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Future High School Boys’ Basketball...

Future High School Boys’ Basketball... Future High School Boys’ Basketball Players Stood Out in All-Star Setting

Every year the future of South Jersey basketball is displayed at the Tim Lenahan Memoria eighth grade all-star game and this year’s future high school players didn’t disappoint a large crowd at Rutgers-Camden.

The eighth grade game is presented by the Albert J. Carino Boys’ Basketball Club of South Jersey and is the preliminary game to the high school all-star matchup.

The White team beat the Blue, 77-75, but the final score in any all-star game wasn’t the most important factor.

Seeing some of the future high school players clearly was.

Leading the way was Elmarko Jackson, a 6-1 player who can play anywhere on the court. He is from Marlton Middle School and will attend St. Augustine.

Jackson scored a game-high 18 points and earned MVP for the White squad. He was especially tough driving to the basket, but also possessed an outside shot that kept defenses honest.

He is also an excellent lacrosse player. In fact the word is that might be his best sport, which is really impressive because he is accomplished in basketball.

When asked what is his best position, he replied,, “I think I can play anywhere on the court one through five,” he said.

He’s probably right.

As for being MVP of the White team, he said, “I was very happy. All the hard work that I have been doing in the gym has been paying off.”

The strongest inside player was Tommy Finnegan of St. Joseph’s, who scored 15 points for the Blue team. The 6-4 Finnegan also showed an ability to take his game away from the basket, hitting a three-pointer.

Zion Cheeks, a 6-0 forward from Penns Grove Middle School, was an inside banger, physical around the basket and agile enough to dribble by defenders. He finished with nine points.

A person who showed great court awareness was Trey Simmons, a 5-8 point guard from Delsea Middle School, who will be attending the high school.

Simmons had five points, but he can’t be judged solely on points. He set up his teammates, and showed great poise. Often in all-star games, the play can be rattled at times, but anytime the game looked to be out of control, he calmly slowed things down, setting up the offense.

Among the more impressive looking shooters was Andrew Ball, a 5-10 guard from Marlton Middle School, who had 13 points, including one three-pointer.

The eighth grade game was the first of a double header, with the high school seniors playing in the second game.

Both games drew large crowds.

“I loved the atmosphere,” Jackson said.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the players, many who will no doubt make their mark in high school, some possibly as early as next year.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Elmarko Jackson goes up for a shot in the eighth grade all-star game.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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