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Award tour for the Elite 24

8/24/2009

BRONX, N.Y. -- After the fourth annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 finally tipped off Friday, nearly three hours after its scheduled start time, fantastic plays from ballers like Josh Selby made the wait worthwhile.

Best Dunk
After Lake Clifton (Baltimore) senior guard Josh Selby blew past Kendall Marshall for a disgusting one-handed flush, the game had to be stopped because some fans spilled onto the court. It was that nasty.

Best Nickname
Full disclosure: "The Wire" is our favorite TV show. So when Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) senior guard and Baltimore native Will Barton was nicknamed "The Wire" in honor of the HBO series set in Charm City, we just had to show him some love. Doron Lamb -- aka "Smooth Criminal" -- and C.J. Leslie -- aka "Talk of the Town" -- also picked up cool nicknames.

Worst Nickname
Selby earned four nicknames at Elite 24: "B-More Captain," "The Portrait," "The Highlight" and "The Watcher." "The Watcher" was the worst of the bunch mainly because the hypeman pumped it up so much before delivering that it was bound to disappoint. Not surprisingly, the crowd booed until he took it back.

Easy Does It Award
This one goes to the refs. Look, we appreciate you sticking around all night, but did you really need to make questionable traveling and offensive foul calls during a streetball game?

True Dedication Honor
Much props to the fans, who lined up to get into Rucker even when it was pouring. Then when the game was moved to Gauchos, they still came in droves. Gauchos was filled beyond capacity and unfortunately dozens -- if not hundreds -- of fans had to be turned away.

Best Save Of The Night
Even with all the rain, the Elite 24 staff tried hard to get the game in at Rucker Park. When that fell through, they scrambled to move the game to Gauchos Gym, set up quickly and delivered a great game for the fans.

Worst Sneakers Award
We love the game of Northland (Columbus, Ohio) big man Jared Sullinger, but those all-purple kicks have to go. In his defense, they did match his orange uniform.

Best Bounce Back
Late in the first half, Barton was fouled hard by Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) senior C.J. Leslie and remained on the ground for a good five minutes. Barton eventually ran off the court under his own power, but nobody expected him to return. Still he came back in a big way, finishing with 18 points and earning the game's best nickname.

Worst Hype Award
All game, the announcers talked about Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) senior Kendall Marshall going for Brandon Jennings' Boost Mobile Elite 24 assists record of 23. With only eight dimes, Marshall fell well short of the mark.

Least In Need Of A Red Bull Honor
Speaking of Jennings, the Elite 24 alum showed plenty of passion as head coach of The Goat squad while talking trash with the opposing coaches. On the flip side, Celtics guard and Skip To My Lou coach Rajon Rondo looked like he could have used a few of the energy drinks.


Jon Mahoney covers high school sports for ESPN RISE Magazine.