New Rochelle will host the first New York-New Jersey Challenge, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at New Rochelle High School. Coach Bill Murphy said he hopes it can become an annual event on the basketball calendar that pits three top teams from New York against three top teams from New Jersey.
Two of the headliners will kick off the event in the 1 p.m. opener. Blair Academy’s 6-foot-10 Virginia-bound center Mike Tobey will meet 6-8 Our Savior forward Christopher Obekpa. How good are these guys? Just consider that Tobey is the No. 2-ranked prospect in New Jersey and Obekpa is the No. 3 prospect in New York. The guys in front of them? In Tobey’s case, it’s St. Anthony’s star Kyle Anderson. For Obekpa, it’s Jamesville-DeWitt’s Dejuan Coleman and Christ the King’s Omar Calhoun.
Obekpa has received a lot of interest, according to Rivals.com. He has already received offers from Cincinnati, UConn, Georgia Tech, Providence and St. John’s.
The second game will start at 3 p.m. and pair Harborfields against Newark Tech. Harborfields, you probably remember, is the Section 11 team that beat Byram Hills last season in the Class A state semifinals. The roster lost some of its big men, but will be led by point guard Lucas Woodhouse, a brilliant passer who has committed to Division I Longwood. He’s a lot of fun to watch, as those who have seen Woodhouse before can attest.
New Rochelle will play the nightcap at 5 p.m. and host Shabazz, a three-time state champ from Newark. The Huguenots lost their only game so far this season on Saturday against St. Mary’s of Manhasset. They open their league schedule this afternoon against Scarsdale.
Here’s the complete schedule…
Saturday, Dec. 17
New York-New Jersey Challenge
At New Rochelle High School
Our Savior (Centereach, N.Y.) vs. Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), 1 p.m.
Harborfields (Greenlawn, N.Y.) vs. Newark Tech, 3 p.m.
New Rochelle vs. Shabazz (Newark, N.J.), 5 p.m.
The high school will charge $5 at the door. The event is single admission.