NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Several notable names graced the all-tournament squad at the recent Boys Club Holiday Classic held here at Basketball City.
The East Division of the 16-team event contained the most Division I caliber players.
In fact, five of the players named all-tournament from the East Division have signed with Division I programs.
Luol Deng, the multi-talented 6-8 guard/forward from Blair Academy, earned MVP honors in scoring 16 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out four assists in a 64-53 title game victory over Worcester Academy. Deng is of course headed to Duke next fall, and he was watched intently all weekend long by Blue Devil Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Asst. Coach Chris Collins.
Charlie Villanueva, Deng's 6-9 running mate at Blair, also made all-tournament. He scored 18 points and recorded six blocks in the win over Worcester.
Mike Beers, a third Buccaneer player, also earned all-tournament recognition with his solid play in the backcourt. He chipped in seven points in the victory over Worcester.
Carl Elliott, the strong 6-2 combo guard from Worcester, nearly carried the Hilltoppers on his back in the title game. He scored 18 of the team's 53 points, but it wasn't enough for his club to beat Blair. Still, his performance and hard-nosed effort merited all-tournament honors.
Dontaye Draper, a slick 5-11 scoring point guard from Trinity Pawling H.S. in New York, scored 20 points on Saturday in leading the Lions to a consolation game victory over Redemption Christian Academy. He is bound for the College of Charleston next year.
Dante Milligan, a 6-8 combo forward from Trinity Pawling headed to Pitt next fall, also earned all-tournament honors at Boys Club.
Kashif Payne, a jet-quick 5-8 point guard from Northfield Mt. Hermon in Massachusetts, was the lone underclassman to make the all-tournament team. Payne was going into his senior year this winter at Archbishop Carroll H.S. in Radnor, Penn., before detouring to Northfield Mt. Hermon where he reclassified as a junior. He should be a prime East Coast recruiting target in the Class of 2004.