2018 Ballislife All-American Game Goes To OVERTIME! Moses Brown, Emmitt Williams Co-MVPs!
National Grassroots Editor
Ronnie has evaluated basketball talent for 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in publishing, editing and managing high school sports websites for companies such as Student Sports, ESPN and Ballislife. Ronnie compiles the FAB 50 National Team Rankings while serving as an account manager and consultant for grassroots event run by Ballislife and other companies, in addition to serving as a color commentator on high school broadcasts.
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Editor’s Note: You can CLICK HERE to view the complete 2018 Ballislife All-American Game broadcast on Facebook Live. A version of the broadcast will air on Spectrum SportsNet (Lakers Channel) beginning on May 10 at 8 pm PT.
Norwalk, Calif. – For the first time in the eight-year history of the Ballislife All-American Game presented by Eastbay, the game went into overtime, with Team Future defeating Team Elite, 146-143, before a capacity crowd at Cerritos College (Calif.). The winning team (which wore White jerseys) overcame its 10-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter to eventually force overtime and earn the win.
The catalyst for Team Future down the stretch was 7-foot, UCLA-bound center Moses Brown, who scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half. His offensive rebound putbacks were huge in the fourth period and he also set an all-time Ballislife All-American Game record with four blocked shots, including a critical defensive play in overtime. Brown, the CHSAA MVP while playing for Archbishop Malloy (Queens, N.Y.), also had nine rebounds for Team Future.
Brown was named the game’s co-MVP along with LSU-bound forward Emmitt Williams of Team Elite, which wore Black uniforms. Williams, had an assortment of alley-oop and putback dunks to finish with game-highs of 31 points and 12 rebounds. Williams, who led Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) to a final No. 8 FAB 50 ranking, was one of three LSU recruits to participate in the game, including teammate Naz Reid of Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.), who netted a team-high 23 points for the Black Team. The third player who will join the Bayou Bengals this fall is guard Ja’Vonte Smart of Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.). Smart scored 21 points for Team Elite.
After Team Future made its comeback, it was basically a one possession game for the last six minutes of regulation and the overtime. In overtime, Smart’s lay-up tied the game at 143-143 with 25 seconds remaining. With 17 seconds remaining, shooting guard Luther Muhammad of Hudson Catholic (N.J.) was fouled in the act of shooting and made one of two free throws. That free throw, turned out to be the winning point, as Muhammad missed the second one only to see the ball called out of bounds on Team Elite in the scramble near the sidelines. Muhammad, who finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds (team-high) and five assists, then canned two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to account for the final points.
Team Elite had one last possession to go for the tie, but a long 3-pointer by point guard James Akinjo of Salesian (Richmond, Calif.) rimmed out and a last-ditch 3-point attempt by Smart was off the mark.
Akinjo, who finished with 11 points, tied a game record with four steals and his defense and intensity set the tone for a close game that featured a couple of streetball-type “battles” while still maintaining its integrity. Akonjo, headed for Georgetown, battled with Brandon Williams (4 points) of Crespi (Encino, Calif.). Smart also had a spirited battle with Ohio St.-bound Duane Washington Jr. (15 points) of Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.).
Akonjo’s future college teammate, Mac McClung, won the BILAAG Slam Dunk Contest presented by Eastbay. McClung defeated Oregon-bound Miles Norris of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) in the final after recording a score of 43 on his first dunk of the contest. The 3-point contest was captured by West Virginia-bound Jordan McCabe of Kaukauna (Wis.), who ignited the crowd with his long range marksmanship. In between the dunk contest and 3-point shootout, Brandon Williams made his college choice public. Williams, who was overcome with a bit of emotion while thanking his parents, will attend the University of Arizona.
2018 Ballislife All-American Game Stats
|Kevin Porter Jr.||4||9||2||1||1||2||3||20|