There was a time when the Unlimited division ruled many summer leagues across the NYC area and the younger players never got as much attention from the fans in the park unless they were playing with grown men. That has definitely changed the past few years at Dyckman basketball tournament where the CEO and Commissioner Ken Stevens over decided to make a change in the weekly schedule by dedicating one day out of the week in the tournament’s schedule to the top high school talent in the city with “Prom Season Thursdays” a day that features three games that include six 19 and under teams.
Dyckman’s High school division always had the top players in the NYC Tri-state area suit up but in the past, they were rarely seen by the large crowds because they played mostly on Sunday’s or during the week at 6 pm as an appetizer before the unlimited games. Dyckman basketball Media director Miguel Rodriguez remembers those nights and some of the top players who played fondly. “ One player that came to mind was Hassan Martin (former Rhode Island stand out and current overseas pro) who played for Bedford Y. He had these two dunks where he straight up posterized defenders”. Rodriguez also spoke about Tenth Ave, the home team at Dyckman. “Tenth Ave always had the neighborhood guys like Vincent Franklin, Ras Council, and others people in the community always came out for them”. Tenth Ave always had wars with other teams every Sunday.
It’s a Tenth Ave Thing
You can’t talk about Dyckman’s High School division without mentioning the home team Tenth Ave. This team has been a huge part of Dyckman’s history, and Head coach Of the team Coach Deuce has seen the growth of the high school division throughout the years. “I’m not going to lie when I first started the high school division was kind of dead until the big names started coming out” my assistant coach “coach Heckler” who brought out this kid named Boobie (older brother of OKC thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo) then after him a ton of other players came out. Tenth Ave was arguably one of the teams that featured a plethora of elite talent from across the Tri-state area and beyond, From featuring Isaiah Washington and a majority of the members of Jellyfam on their team to having several High major Division one basketball prospects play in the 2016 championship game Tenth Ave always brought the stars out. The 2016 championship game between Tenth Ave and Brooklyn Stompers was one of many turning points that proved that the high school division was Dyckman’s next best thing. Several of the top players in the city from both teams played in that game. Dutch has some regrets about the 2016 final four and championship game but knows his team will be back to being contenders soon. ” I’m not going to front, we choked in that game and our legs gave out but I give major props to Brooklyn Stompers they played a hell of a game”.
Prom Season Thursday’s and the resurgence of Cha-Ching.
Dyckman announcer David “Chaching” Teele made his debut at Dyckman by announcing the high school games in 2013, and from there took over announcing the unlimited games as well. As Teele explained in a recent interview Prom season Thursdays are one thing helped his career as well as elevate the high school division. “Prom season Thursdays was another opportunity to expand my brand “Chaching” as well as elevate the High school division at Dyckman. Moving the games to Thursday’s was big and coming up with the concept helped, now everyone in the city likes it”. If you have been to Dyckman regularly you can see that when the younger players play Teele is on another level with his announcing, and with him and Rodriguez having knowledge of the best high school players it’s a sure thing that Commissioner Ken Stevens made the right choice by making the high school division a priority within the tournament.
The Present and the future
Since Dyckman’s high school division has become the tournament’s main attraction Prom season Thursday’s has introduced a ton of new stars as of late. Two of the best players that have made some late this summer are Zack Freemantle a 6-8 PF from Bergen Catholic HS in New Jersey and Dashawn Davis a 6-3 guard from Our Savior Lutheran High School in the Bronx. Both players play for defending champion Skull Gang which is coached by Jermaine “Twin” James and also features some of the top players from Jersey such as Al-Amir Dawes, Khalif Battle, and Ja’Quaye James as well as others. Dyckman’s partnership with Slam Magazine this year has led to many of the top players from across the nation making their first appearance at the red carpet of street ball with the Slam summer classic. Playing at Dyckman has become a goal for many players in the country. On numerous nights the high school division games caught more attention than the unlimited games, and as Prom Season Thursdays gained more attention, more people filled up the seats.
Along with some rising seniors that have been dominating at Dyckman, there are some underclassmen that have made a name for themselves Jaylen “Juju” Murray, (Cardinal Hayes 21’) Majesty Johnson (Brooklyn Collegiate HS 20’) and Anthony “Rome” Marshall (Metro-BDA HS 20’) are just a few of many players who have been killing in the High school division this summer, and there will be more to come. With the rise of the High school division becoming the main attraction in streetball during the past 3 years, it’s worth noting that Dyckman’s prom
Season Thursdays came at the right time. “I just hope that the momentum doesn’t fade away”. says coach Tenth Ave Head coach Deuce.
With the Dyckman’s 2018 season coming to a close tonight, it’s a sure thing that the high school players that once were the opening act have become the headliners and it could be that way for a while. Despite that, Some feel that there is always room for improvement, and Cha-Ching is one of them. “At this moment I can’t think about anything right now but over the winter I always want to come up with something new because we always want to get better and that’s the key to get better no matter what it is”. Improving is one thing that is always on the mind when it comes to Dyckman Basketball but one thing for sure is that Prom Season Thursdays is here to stay.