Even at the highest levels with the top prospects, the brand of basketball played on the shoe-company circuits this time of year can sometimes be tough to watch.
That’s especially the case as the weekend drags on and travel-weary players start to get tired, make mistakes and mentally check out.
That’s not what happened here on Court 6 at the Under Armour session Saturday night. What spectators saw instead was a thing of basketball beauty.
Those responsible: Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis — two high school teammates from New Jersey who have been playing alongside each other since the seventh grade and are combining forces again this spring for Team Rio.
The Antoine and Lewis show began just after the opening tip, when the latter of the duo sank a three-pointer to start the scoring in a game against Atlanta Xpress.
Less than a minute later, Lewis drove the lane and made a great pass to an open teammate, who knocked down a jumper. A few seconds after that, the 6-foot-5 Lewis, already locked in on defense against the opposing team’s best player — top-10 national recruit Khavon Moore — used his length to deflect a pass out of bounds, much to the delight of his head coach, his teammates and the parents and fans in the stands.
Team Rio Coach Mike Rice, formerly the head coach at Rutgers, excitedly rushed onto the court to give Lewis a high five, and the show was on.
By the end of the half, Antoine had knocked down a couple of three-pointers and showed off his blazing speed and athleticism in the open court, and Lewis had a couple more crisp assists and acrobatic drives to the basket.
Oh, and each player threw down a SportsCenter-caliber dunk, both times causing a few…