Micawber Etienne BREAKS OUT At Pangos East, COPPS co-MOP w/Jonathan Kuminga

The two main storylines at the 2018 Pangos All-East Frosh/Soph Camp was how incredible a game the Cream of the Crop Top 30 All-Star affair was and how good a player 6-foot-10 Micawber Etienne played all weekend long. He punctuated his weekend by scoring the winning bucket in sudden death double overtime in the camp's top all-star game. Read on for more detail about the top plays and players from the final top of the 2018 Pangos Frosh/Soph camp tour.

The deserving performers in the Cream of the Crop Top 30 All-Star Game at the 2018 Pangos All-East Frosh/Soph Camp held at the RiverWinds Center (Thorofare, N.J.) put forth a terrific performance to conclude the two-day showcase event. So good, in fact, they and the contingent of fans, parents and interested on-lookers didn't want the game to end.

Fittingly, it took a sudden death, pick-and-roll field goal from 6-foot-10 sophomore (2021) power forward Micawber Etienne off a dish near the top of the key from 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Shane Dezonie to settle matters, as the club with the Black jerseys defeated their White jersey-wearing counterparts, 87-85, in double overtime.

This particular game was, by far, the best all-star game played in recent memory at Pangos Frosh/Soph Camps. In terms of intensity, the back-and-forth action and how the game concluded, it might have been the best all-star game in the event's history.

The purpose of the four annual Pangos Frosh/Soph Camps around the country is to give underclass prospects national exposure, put them in position to perhaps earn an invite to the annual Pangos All-Amerian Camp in June, and give talented players a gauge of how they measure up against some of their peers. In that sense, it was ironic Etienne scored the winning bucket in the second overtime because the skilled power forward was the camp's most consistently dominant performer and came in relatively unknown from a national perspective.

That's not the case anymore.

Etienne, who attends Suffield Academy (Suffield, Conn.) but hails from Middletown, N.Y., was named the camp's co-Most Outstanding Player along with 6-foot-8 sophomore wing Jonathan Kuminga of Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.). No player operated more effectively in the post than Etienne, who grew up in upstate New York but whose family members on his father's side hail from Haiti. He displays patience on the block and has a vast array of moves, whether it be a half hook over his inside shoulder or effective spin moves towards the baseline or a reverse to the other side of the basket. Etienne effectively runs the floor and can finish through traffic and contact. He finished the Cream of the Crop Top 30 contest with a game-high 22 points, eight rebounds, three blocks for the victorious White club.

"The game was way better than I thought it would be," said Etienne, who plays with the PSA Cardinals grassroots travel ball club. "We wanted to win and we fought hard for our win. I actually expected to play as I did because I came in with a chip on my shoulder. I feel I'm overlooked and under appreciated and that I can be one of the top players in my class."

Kuminga came in with a big-time reputation and did nothing to disspell the notion he's one of the best wing forwards in the national 2021 class. Kuminga, who participated in the 2018 Pangos All-American Camp, covers ground like a NBA player, has nice form and release on his deep jumper and can handle the ball well for his size. He sparked the White club's comeback and finished with a team-high 21 points, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

"We were playing like it was an all-star game, but every time you step on the court it's business, so we had to treat it like it was business," Kaminga said.

The Black club took a 48-31 halftime lead on an offensive rebound put back field goal by Etienne, but the White club began to chip away at its double-digit deficit before storming back in the final minutes of regulation behind the play of Kuminga and flashy 6-foot-3 freshman (2022) point guard Zion Cruz of Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.). In the span of a minute, Cruz sparked a 7-0 run to make up a 76-69 deficit with a couple of baskets, steals and a nifty assist. He finished with eight points, four assists and three steals for the White club.

Kuminga tied the game at 80-80 with 5.5 seconds remaining in regulation on a wing three-pointer. In the first one minute overtime period, 6-foot-2 sophomore Rasool Diggins of Archbishop Wood (Philadelphia, Pa.) tied the game at 85-85 on a field goal with 30 seconds remaining. Kuminga also scored in the first overtime, but could not convert a pressure-packed free throw situation in the sudden death overtime after a hard drive. That's when Etienne and the Black club took advantage in sudden death (first basket wins) on the next possession to end the game.

Diggins was named Cream of the Crop Top 30 Game co-MVP, as he finished with 19 points, four rebounds and five steals for the White club. For the winning Black club, the co-MVP was hard-working 6-foot-7 freshman power forward Richard Nweke of The Dwight School (New York, N.Y.) with 10 points, eight rebounds and two steals. It was a terrific way for Nweke to conclude camp, as he played his way into the top all-star game by running the floor and working hard on the boards.

Other standouts in the game were the Black's Marcus Randolph and the White's Kyle Cuff Jr. Randolph, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard from Trenton Catholic (Trenton, N.J.), had 17 points and two steals. Cuff, a 6-foot sophomore from Avon Old Farms School (Conn.), finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

The most explosive dunk of the event was turned in by Dezonie. The Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.) sophomore came up with a backcourt steal and threw down a powerful one-hand cuff dunk on an unsuspecting defender in transition. He finished with six points, five assists (including the game-winner) and three steals for the White club.

The Cream of the Crop Top 60 Game was also a close, well-played affair. The White club won, 79-77, over the Black club behind a MVP-performance from 7-foot freshman center Silas Sunday of Our Savior Lutheran (Bronx, N.Y.). Silas, who is originally for Milan, Italy, finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

Other standouts in the second all-star game were 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard Dantae Prescott of Nazareth (Brooklyn, N.Y.), 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Kareem Ewell of Dickson (Wilmington, Del.), 6-foot-4 freshman guard Chance Westry of Trinity (Harrisburg, Pa.), 6-foot-4 freshman guard Trey Thomas of Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.), and a prospect to watch in the future, 5-foot-1 seventh-grader (2024) Kabrien Ross of Trenton, N.J.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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