His team came in as underdogs, but Edrice “Bam” Adebayo’s 21 point, 8-rebound performance and a double-double by Billy Preston lead Team Doo Be Doo to 111-110 win over Team EZ Pass at the 2015 Under Armour Elite 24. Adebayo and Preston join Josh Jackson and Frank Jackson as game MVPs.
It was only fitting that in a playground style, made-for-TV showcase featuring many of the nation’s elite players, the 2015 Under Armour Elite 24 was clinched on, what else, but two free throws by a local crowd favorite.
Guard Shamorie Ponds of Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) nailed two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining with his Team Doo Be Doo club leading 109-107. It basically put the game out of reach, but Team EZ Pass made the outcome interesting when wing Terrance Ferguson nailed a corner 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining. After a Team EZ Pass foul, the team named after former event participant and NBA guard Kemba Walker couldn’t get anything close to what resembled a last shot with only 0.2 seconds, as Team Doo Be Doo came away with a 111-110 win at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2 in New York.
Before Ponds’ free throws, of course, there was plenty of high-flying action and open court play that was nearly as spectacular of the views of New York’s skyline in the background. After all, spectacular open court play is the premise the UA Elite 24 was built on in 2006 beginning at world famous Rucker Park in Harlem.
Perhaps the game’s most spectacular performer was Doo Be Doo’s Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, a powerfully built 6-foot-9 post player who spent his junior season at Northside (Washington, N.C.) but will play as a senior at High Point Christian Academy (N.C.). Adebayo wasn’t challenged at the rim very often and came up with some powerful put-back finishes as well. He finished with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds.
Also leading the way for victorious Team Do Be Doo (which was named after former two-time UA Elite 24 game MVP Brandon Jennings) was 6-foot-9 forward Billy Preston of Prime Prep (Dallas). Preston recorded the game’s only double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds while chipping in four assists.
Preston hit a big 3-pointer for Doo Be Doo right before halftime to make the score 63-52 with favored EZ Pass up going into intermission. Doo Be Doo didn’t do a good job of transitioning back on defense in the first half and gave up a ton of easy shots. At one point, EZ Pass went up 17 points in the first half before Doo Be Doo slowly started chipping away at its deficit.
A big dunk by Adebayo off feed from Ponds tied the game at 71-71. EZ Pass had a chance to take a lead on back-to-back possessions after getting a couple of defensive stops — and finally was able to on its third try via a lay-up by Preston to make it 79-78 with 11:20 remaining in the second half. The 10th anniversary UA Elite 24 went back-and-forth from there until its conclusion.
Joining Adebayo and Preston as game MVPs were EZ Pass’ Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-8 small forward out of Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), and Frank Jackson, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard out of Lone Peak (Highland, Utah.)
Frank Jackson finished with a team-high 20 points and three assists. He particularly made his mark on the game in the first half with 15 points. Frank Jackson, who earned the nickname “The American Gangster” from UA Elite 24 MC Jeffrey “Hannibal” Banks, also had one of the best of the many highlight dunks with a two-handed 360.
Josh Jackson joined Jennings (2006, 2007) and Lance Stephenson (2007, 2008) as two-time MVPS. He finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
As is UA Elite 24 tradition, Jackson also engaged in a first half “battle” with New York’s own Rawle Alkins to the delight of the pro-New York crowd. Alkins, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, spent last year at Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) but will play at a prep school in 2015-16. Alkins played well for winning Do Bee Doo with 14 points on a strong variety of finishes at the basket.
Ponds was the fourth player in double-digits for Do Be Doo with 15 points. He added five assists and three steals.
On Friday, Josh Jackson captured the Under Armour Slam Dunk Contest with the highlight being an off-the-glass-between-the-legs dunk. Ferguson won the 3-point contest.