Elite 24

Josh Jackson wins Elite 24 dunk contest with off-the-backboard, between-the-legs dunk

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Josh Jackson, rated the top player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, won the Under Armour Elite 24 Dunk Contest on Friday night at Pier 2 in Brooklyn with an off-the-backboard, between-the-legs dunk for his second perfect score of the night. Jackson defeated Baylor commit Mark Vital in the finals.

Terrance Ferguson, the five-star wing who committed to Alabama on Monday, won the 3-point contest.

The 6-foot-7 Jackson added to an impressive summer. In July, the rising high school senior started on USA Basketball U19 team that won the FIBA World Championships in Greece. After averaging 19.2 points per game for 1 Nation in the Under Armour Association, Jackson broke the scoring record at the Big Strick Classic with a 50-point performance earlier this month.

Jackson will look to build on Friday night’s showing on Saturday night in the 10th annual Under Armour Elite 24.

Derrick Jones uses some insane dunks to win the Elite 24 dunk contest (VIDEO)

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When Derrick Jones, Kwe Parker, Josh Jackson and Donovan Mitchell are on the same basketball court, there better be cameras present to document the dunks that are about to go down.

Thankfully, Hoop Mixtape sent some cameras to document the action at Under Armour’s Elite 24 dunk contest last night.

Class of 2015 wing Derrick Jones took home the title and with some of the best dunkers in the country in the event along with Jones, this is a good dunk contest crown to own.

Although the dunk contest had some great dunks, the practices also had some fantastic dunks and Bleacher Report was there to document those as well.


Emmanuel Mudiay, Isaiah Whitehead shine in Elite 24 (VIDEO)

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Last Saturday, two dozen of the best high school prospects in the nation participated in the 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York.

The all-star game ended with Team Coney Island, led by Lincoln High (N.Y.) and Brooklyn native Isaiah Whitehead, topping Team Bed Stuy, led by )SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay, 114-109. Both players earned MVP honors — along with Apple Valley High (Minn.) point guard Tyus Jones and Mater Dei High (Calf.) wing Stanley Johnson — following the game.

All the weekend highlights, from the game to North Carolina commit Theo Pinson jumping over his own mother to win the dunk contest, can be seen in the video above.

Photo courtesy Kelly Kline/Under Armour

Tyus Jones, Isaiah Whitehead lead Coney Island in Elite 24

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Tyus Jones and Brooklyn’s own Isaiah Whitehead earned Co-MVP honors for the winning team at the 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday night

Jones and Whitehead led Team Coney Island to a closer than expected 114-109 win over Team Bed-Stuy. Stanley Johnson and Emmanuel Mudiay — who announced that he had committed to SMU, over Kentucky, during halftime — were named Co-MVPs for Team Bed-Stuy.

Team Coney Island broke open the game with under eight minutes to go in the first half, going on a 14-0 run in an almost four-minute span that lifted the orange and white to a 66-43 halftime lead.

The opening minutes of the second half indicated that Coney Island was going to run away with the all-star game, bumping the lead up to as much as 31. Though, Johnson and Mudiay — who played like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders following his halftime decision — led the Bed-Stuy comeback. After continually chipping away at the lead, Mudiay erased the double-digit deficit with an alley oop to Kelly Oubre, followed by a catch-and-shoot three in consecutive possessions.

Several possessions later, Whitehead — in front of his hometown fans — cleared out to take on Mudiay one-on-one. The 6-foot-4 Whitehead took Mudiay to the bucket with a spin move and banked in the lefty shot, while also drawing the foul. The Whitehead and-1 helped put Coney Island back up double-digits with under 10 minutes to go in the game.

Team Bed-Stuy had one more late rally, cutting it to four, 108-104 with 60 second left following a Johnson fast break dunk, though, that’s as close as Bed-Stuy would get.

Whithead, who plays at Lincoln High on Coney Island, led all scorers with 26 points.

Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre among Elite 24 skills competition contestants

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The Under Armour Elite 24 game is annually the final major grassroots event of the summer, with some of the nation’s best high school players taking the court in some of the sport’s iconic environments. Friday night the three-point and dunk contests will be held, with uncommitted 2014 phenoms Kelly Oubre and Stanley Johnson among the participants.

The contestants taking part in the three-point contest are (with their graduation year and college of choice in parentheses):

Joel Berry (2014; North Carolina)
Devon Booker (2014; undecided)
Justin Jackson (2014; North Carolina)
Malik Newman (2015; undecided)
Kelly Oubre (2014; undecided)
Romelo Trimble (2014; Maryland)
Rashad Vaughn (2014; undecided)
Dion Wiley (2014; Maryland)

Maryland and North Carolina each have two competitors in the three-point contest, and thanks to conference realignment we won’t get to see them on the same court at the college level. In regards to Terrapin commits Trimble and Wiley, they’re expected to make Mark Turgeon’s program a much stronger one when it comes to perimeter shooting.

As for the dunk contest, just one of the participants is currently committed to a school:

Stanley Johnson (2014; undecided)
Derrick Jones (2015; undecided)
Theo Pinson (2014; North Carolina)
Ivan Rabb (2015; undecided)
Justise Winslow (2014; undecided)
Seventh Woods (2016; undecided)

The actual Elite 24 game will be played Saturday evening at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn.

Julius Randle rounds out impressive weekend, shines in Under Armour Elite 24

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For those who were expecting a defensive battle in the 2012 Under Armour Elite 24 game, you, not surprisingly, didn’t get it.

But on the concrete in Venice Beach, Calif., Saturday, there was scoring and lots of it, as 24 of the best high school players in the nation gathered for the seventh annual contest.

The Raymond Lewis Squad, coached by Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, defeated the Marques Johnson Squad, coached by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, 164-138.

Three players led the way for Raymond Lewis in the victory: Julius Randle, who had 27 points on 13-of-14 shooting, Aaron Gordon, who had 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and added seven rebounds, and Aaron Harrison, who had 25 points.

All three won MVP honors, along with Marques Johnson’s Justise Winslow, who had 21 points.

The most impressive overall weekend, though, was Randle’s, after he won the Slam Dunk Contest on Friday night by beating sophomore Jamar Ergas, then came back in the All-Star Game and went for a game-high 27 points.

Randle, a 6-9 Texas native, is a top-3 player in the country who is being courted by elite programs across the country, including UNC, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Baylor, NC State, and others.

In the absence of Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins, who was selected for but unable to attend the event, Randle shined.

He and Wiggins famously battled at the 2012 Nike Peach Jam, where Wiggins got the best of him in a head-to-head matchup and perhaps cemented himself as the best player in the country.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_