The Pennington School in Pennington, NJ was the host site to the 2012 Mary Kline Classic. With over 60 future division prospects participating in the charity event to fight cancer, the MKC was everything we expected and more. Alex Kline the 17 year old sports journalist who lost his mother to cancer at the age of 10 found a way to help cancer research by putting on a basketball charity event.
The MKC had a family atmosphere with attendees of all ages taking part in the event. The highlight of the event was when Kyle Ratner who recently lost his father to cancer this past year, sporting a Lebron James Miami Heat jersey hit a buzzer beater at the end of the game. Kyle was then lifted off the court by the players as the crowd went wild.
The first of many events of the day was the Underclassmen game was filled with top 50 prospects including names like Isaiah Briscoe, Tyler Enis, Rondae Jefferson and Karl Towns. New England was represented by 4 prep prospects Abdul-Malik Abu (Kimball Union), Wayne Selden (Tilton School), Jared Terrell (New Hampton) and Austin Colbert (Hotchkiss School). All but Colbert played on the blue team which ended up defeating the red team 143-122. Abdul-Malik highlighted the game with 3 dunks, one of which was a two hand slam that put the ball and the defender in the rim for an old fashion 3 point play. Jaren Sina (Red Team) and Jermaine Lawrence (Blue Team) were Co-MVP of the Underclassmen game.
Ryan Arcidiacono a Villanova commit was our early pick favored to win the 3 point competition and he did just that. Arcidiacono was clearly the best outside shooter in the gym and will be a great addition to Coach Wright team next season. The Dunk Contest ended up being a dunk off between Wayne Selden and Rondae Jefferson. Jefferson who is a 6’6 athletic forward with guard like handles who caught alley oop while jumping over a player received all 10’s from the judges. Next up was Wayne Selden who literally Blew the Roof Off the gym when he tossed the basketball off the wall, which then bounced off the floor and Selden met the ball at the front of the rim for a one hand throw down. The crowd went wild as everyone rushed the court in excitement. Selden and Jefferson ended up sharing the Dunk Contest Champion title.
The senior game saw 3 New England prep prospects participate in the event including Georges Niang (Iowa State – Tilton), Chris McCullugh ’14 (Salisbury) and Anthony Gaffney (Princeton – Taft). The blue team with a late rally in the fourth qtr would come back and defeat the red team 123-111. McCullugh and Niang both finished with 12 points apiece. Eric Fanning and Justin Sears shared Co-MVP honors for the senior game.
Alex Kline will head to Syracuse University in the fall where he will study journalism. Alex made two big announcements that night and the first was raising $20,000 to help cancer research. The second announcement of the night was when Alex announced his merger with TheRecruitScoop.com and Rivals.com. What more could a 17 year old ask for when at such a young age you’re getting hired to do what you love most. For Alex it’s not a job when it’s something he loves to do. The Mary Kline Classic was a success and will continue grow every year.