The 14th annual Jordan Brand Classic took place at the Barclays Center this past Friday and as always with this event, it did not disappoint.
The Jordan Brand Classic offers an unique experience for the high school all-americans and that’s not just because it’s tailing off the legacy of Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time and the man all of these kids looked up to growing up. Unlike traveling to a city to just to play a single game and leave, the players actually endure other events at the JBC. They have the opportunity to hang out around the city and time to hangout with one another one last time before becoming rivals on the next level. It is their last hurrah–we’ll likely see many of them in the NBA real soon.
The players throughout the week attended different events throughout the city, such as bowling in Times Square, boxing at the Church Street gym, and they even visited the 9/11 memorial. The JBC is truly a different experience and the event is highlighted by three things: elite talent, gear, and entertainers.
As for the main event, the West team was pushed to a 118-116 win by team MVP Allonzo Trier, a future Arizona Wildcat, who dominated by scoring a game-high 28 points. Though it wasn’t enough, unsigned 6-9 forward Cheick Diallo of Centereach, New York, countered with his own MVP performance, going for 26 points and 11 boards for the East.
“It was great atmosphere out here in New York,” Oregon commit Tyler Dorsey said. “They get riled up. They like to see those one-on-one matchups so it was pretty exciting.”
From the kicks to the players to the celebrities, we were in the house in Brooklyn for all of it. This is the Story of the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic.
all images below via Jordan Kleinman
Follow Jarrel on Twitter at @_JarrelHarris
*** *** ***
Allonzo Trier was the MVP of the West squad after putting 26 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Despite not getting the love like some of the other wings in his class, Trier is perhaps the most fluid scorer in the 2015 class. He can do a little bit of everything from draining midrange shots to cutting to the hoop for and-1s. He is signed on to play for Arizona and Sean Miller next year where he is going to have the green light to put up some massive numbers.
“Yeah, I mean, such a big icon as far as basketball, and the clothing line and shoe line is so big,” Trier said about the event, before noting his favorite pairs right now are the Air Jordan III and VII. “It’s such an honor to come here and be able to be a part of something that [Michael Jordan’s] name is attached to. It’s really special.”
Cheick Diallo was the MVP from the East team, putting up 26 and 11. He has a tremendous motor and was always involved in the play, whether definitely or offensively. He is rising up rankings in his class and it is not hard to see why. Diallo threw down one of the best dunks from the week during their first practice at Terminal 23 by catching a put-back with one hand before throwing it down on Skal Labissiere. He still has not decided what college to attend but Kansas, St. John’s, Iowa State, and Kentucky are all in the mix.
Isaiah Briscoe was easily the main attraction during the game because of his proximity to the city as a Jersey kid. Every time Briscoe touched the ball the crowd erupted. It was reminiscent of a Rucker Park basketball game in the summer. The highlight of the game came when Briscoe put Antonio Blakeney in a blender after a crazy spin move to lay it in. He is going to have the ball in his hands a lot when he reaches Lexington to play for John Calipari and the Wildcats. One interesting thing to see is how the chemistry between Briscoe and returning point guard Tyler Ulis will be.
One thing we do know is that Briscoe will bring his swagger. He called himself the best dresser in this class and noted that his favorite Jordans were the Jordan I, VII, and XVII.
“I am one of a kind,” Briscoe said about his style. “It is what it is, I know how to market myself well and build my brand and I mean a lot of people love me and a lot of people don’t like me. At the end of the day I am going to be the same person I am.”
On the other side, Antonio Blakeney is one of the best guards in the class of 2015. He is an elite scorer and has added some athleticism to his game over the past year before showing out during the JBC over the week. The 2015 class is stacked with elite wings and Blakeney did a great job of trying to distance himself from the rest of the pack. Like Briscoe, Blakeney’s strength is confidence. He is a natural born killer on the court and is a tough guy to handle. Blakeney will team up with the No. 1 player in the country, Ben Simmons, next year in Baton Rouge at LSU with Johnny Jones. The matchups between UK and LSU are going to be on another level.
When you are playing in a game that is sponsored by the world’s leading sneaker icon, best believe you are going to get flooded with Jordan Brand kicks. Last year, the players rocked the Melo M10 in the game. This year, everyone laced up a different pair of Jordan Brand kicks.
Throughout the week and practices leading up to the game, the players rocked the Super.Fly 3 PO. The International team wore the Super.Fly 3 PO during their game but in team-inspired colorways, which was the trend throughout every sneaker worn in every game. The women’s team wore the CP3.VIII; the regional team wore Melo M11s, and the National teams laced up red and teal pairs of the Air Jordan XX9. The players also received some dope retro sneakers throughout the week, while the girls received Laser IVs.
The celebs and fans in attendance? They were on point as well.
The Jordan Brand Classic has always been one of the best when it comes to booking performers for the postgame show. Two years back at the Barclays the brand handed the mic to Drake and last year Macklemore came through and put on a dope performance. This year, the headliner was Nicki Minaj, who had fans raging to get on the court. Nicki put on a dope set and went through various hits from her catalogue. Also making an appearance at the game were Jordan brand athletes like Carmelo Anthony, Maya Moore, Victor Oladipo, Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.