NEW CASTLE —
Malik Hooker and ... Kobe?
As in Bryant?
Yes, indeed, the New Castle High forward is being compared to the Los Angeles Lakers star following a rim-jarring dunk Tuesday night in the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals against Lower Merion.
Hooker’s monster jam was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter as the No. 5 Play of the Day following the game.
“One of my friends texted me about it,” Hooker said. “I think some of them were more happy than I was.”
An article about Hooker from Yahoo! Sports’ Cameron Smith followed yesterday. It compared Hooker’s dunk at Williamsport High to one that Bryant orchestrated during his playing days with the Aces (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/pa-star-throws-down-kobe-bryant-slam-playoff-151934269.html)
“My favorite player is LeBron James, but I like the comparison,” Hooker said. “Not a lot of people can say they’ve been compared to an NBA star. It made me feel really good.”
Hooker, a junior, dazzled the packed house. He penetrated from the top of the key, wove his way past three defenders and put an exclamation point on the play with a one-handed leap to the rim.
The dunk gave the ’Canes a 21-11 advantage with six minutes remaining in the first half. Hooker finished with a team-high 19 points, although the team went on to lose 67-63.
Hooker is a multi-sport star for the ’Canes. Along with being a major player for the New Castle basketball team, he runs track and is a wide receiver for the football team. The buzz surrounding Hooker after the dunk should only fuel his already strong prospect status.
“I think it’s great,” Hooker said of the national spotlight. “It draws more attention to college coaches.”
To see Hooker’s dunk for yourself, CLICK HERE.
NEW CASTLE —
Malik Hooker and ... Kobe?
- New Castle
’Canes honored, Blundo throws first pitch at Bucs game
Ralph Blundo won’t have a career as a Major League pitcher. The PIAA Class AAAA Coach of the Year showcased his “changeup” when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 11-2 win over Milwaukee at PNC Park last night.
Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next
Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character. Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.
Levar Ware’s Story, Part 1: ’Canes’ senior finally found his way after enduring difficult living conditions in West Virginia
First of two parts: His infectious smile can light up a room, but five years ago, Levar Ware was living in darkness. Except for his mother, concerned educators and a local attorney, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior who helped New Castle High capture its first state basketball title last month might not even have been on the team.
City presents commendations to ’Canes
The New Castle High state championship basketball team has received more accolades. The mayor and New Castle City Council presented individual commendations to 19 players and two managers of the undefeated Red Hurricane team on Tuesday.
‘She’s all business’: New Castle girls coach beaming over success of Notre Dame’s McBride
There may be no bigger University of Notre Dame women’s basketball fan out there than Scott Dibble. “I’m an Irish fan,” the second-year New Castle High girls coach admitted. “I’ve been one my whole life.”
New Castle Schools: Razzano resigns in settlement with district
Robert Razzano has resigned from his position as New Castle Junior High School principal, effective yesterday. The school board in an 8-0 vote ratified an agreement between Razzano and the district that ends his employment and allows him to collect his pay through the end of the year, an amount of $29,610.
The Doctor of Style: Hooker not state’s top player? He was robbed!
There was a robbery Friday, and it affected the entire legion of New Castle High boys basketball fans. Red Hurricane standout Malik Hooker earned first-team all-state honors in Class AAAA by the Associated Press. But he was somehow snubbed for the Player of the Year honor.
High School Hoops: Hooker, Richards make all state; Blundo is coach of the year
Basketball season is over, but the honors keep rolling in for New Castle High. The Red Hurricane was well represented on the 2013-14 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Boys Basketball teams, which were released yesterday. Seniors Malik Hooker (first team) and Anthony Richards (second team) earned honors in Class AAAA. Head coach Ralph Blundo was named the classification’s Coach of the Year.
Photo Gallery: State champion ’Canes visit nursing home where one star’s mom works
All of New Castle is proud of the Red Hurricane state championship basketball team. Likely, though, no one is more so than Angela Dennis. Dennis is the mother of Malik and Marquel Hooker, both members of the 31-0 squad that won both the WPIAL and PIAA titles.
Class of 1950 to hold reunion
New Castle High School’s class of 1950 is planning a reunion for May 3. There will be a buffet luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Crane Room, 3009 Wilmington Road.
- More New Castle Headlines
- ’Canes honored, Blundo throws first pitch at Bucs game