2017 Powerade Jam Fest Kick-Off #Recap

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It all began last Monday, March 27th with the kick off of the Powerade Jam Fest at the Keating Sports Center. There were a series of events that took place: 3pt Contest, Legends and Stars Shootout, and most importantly the Dunk Contest. Trae Young dominated the 3pt contest with 20 points for the Boys, while Chasity Patterson took the crown for the Girls. Things heated up as Collin Sexton, Jaylen Hands, and Troy Brown went head to head during the dunk contest. It was down to Sexton and Brown, but Sexton took the title with a total of 129 points. As the game, excitement, and competition rolled over to Wednesday things got intense. It all went down at the United Center as the Boys East and West teams played back and forth.
By halftime, it wasn’t clear to see who the winning team was going to be. The East All Americans finished the 1st half with 56 points and West with 50 points. The tables soon turned in the second half. By the end of 2nd half, the East scored 51 points, but the West outscored them with 59 points to earn the victory. Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri Tigers) earned MVP honors for the Boys West squad in their 109-107 win. Porter, Jr. will attend Missouri in the Fall.
At the end of the game I got a chance to talk with two players from the East team. Even though they did not win, they still had encouraging words. PJ Washington Jr. (Kentucky Wildcats) explained his best moment being just to be able “to play with his teammates, in front of a big crowd, and just having fun. Because we lost, I know we could have played better just by running the court more and playing better defense.” I also got a chance to speak with Lonnie Walker (Miami Hurricanes) who explained that his best moment that night was “just being able to be on the court.
Having the McDonald’s All American Jersey on my chest; there’s no greater feeling. There’s no explanation [of the best moment] except being able to play in front of millions of people, fans, and this city.” Besides losing, Walker explained that this game was not “do or die, everybody is just blessed at the fact that they are playing.”
Deja Taylor, Junior, Noble Street College Prep

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