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?
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