Griffin, Hawks Visiting MSG

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate AJ Griffin and the Atlanta Hawks are visiting Madison Square Garden tonight to oppose the New York Knicks.

Tipoff is 7:30.

Griffin, 19, is averaging 5.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in four games this season. The 6 foot-6 guard is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

The Hawks are 4-3 and sit in first place in the Southeast Division. The Knicks are 3-3 overall and 3-0 at Madison Square Garden.

Griffin was drafted 16th overall by the Hawks in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Griffin averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in leading the Duke Blue Devils to the NCAA Division I Final Four during his one season at Durham, N.C. He shot 49.3 percent from the floor and 44.7 percent from three-point range.

Prior to Duke, Griffin helped Stepinac capture the 2018 state high school federation championship.

Davis, UNC Are No. 1

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate RJ Davis will be a junior on this year’s University of North Carolina men’s basketball team that is ranked first in the preseason Associated Press and ESPN poll.

Davis is a second-team preseason All-ACC pick.

Davis helped the Tar Heels reach the 2022 Final Four where it lost to ACC rival Duke, which was led by Stepinac graduate AJ Griffin.

Davis became the first Tar Heel in program history to finish NCAA Tournament games with at least 10 assists and more than 30 points in the next. He finished with 12 assists against Marquette and 30 points against top seed Baylor.

In the NCAA Tournament, Davis played a team-high 37.7 minutes per game and averaged 14.7 point per contest.

As a sophomore, Davis led the Tar Heels with 142 assists, 40 steals and was second in free-throw percentage at 83 percent and three-point field goal percentage at 37 percentage. He was third on the team with 66 three-point field goals and fourth in scoring.

At Stepinac Davis set the Westchster County scoring record with 2,446 career points. As a senior, he was named the 2020 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in New York, New York’s Mr. Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York and was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH CAROLINA

Young Named PGA’s Top Rookie

Cameron Young fell just short of winning some PGA Tour events, but the Fordham Prep graduate did more than enough to capture the 2021-2022 PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year honor.

“I just think it’s a very special one historically, given Arnold Palmer’s contributions to our game and the list of names that have been able to take this home is very cool, and I’m very thankful to be a part of it,” said Young of winning the Arnold Palmer Award as the tour’s top rookie in an interview with the Golf Channel.

Young completed the 2021-2022 season with five second-place finishes and two third-place finishes in 25 events.

In September, Young helped Team USA defeat the International team at the Presidents Cup.

PGA golfers will be competing in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, starting Thursday at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA TOUR

Jerome Signs with Warriors

Iona Prep graduate Ty Jerome is in camp with the Golden State Warriors after being waived by the Houston Rockets and signing with the defending NBA champions.

Jerome and the Warriors will be in preseason action at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers and Iona Prep graduate Matt Ryan.

Jerome, 25, was part of an eight-player trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, who waived Jerome following the trade.

Jerome led the University of Virginia to the 2019 NCAA championship before being drafted 24th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who traded him to the Phoenix Suns.

The 6-foot-5 guard played in 31 games during his rookie season with the Suns, and has played a total of 112 games in his NBA career with the Suns and Thunder, averaging 7.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 17.1 minutes per game.

TOUR Championship Next for Young

Fordham Prep graduate Cameron Young finished tied for 23rd Sunday at the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

Young, the leading candidate for the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year, was at 1-over par in the final round and finished at 5 under for the tournament’s four rounds.

The TOUR Championship is next for Young with the first of four rounds scheduled for Thursday at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta. NBC and the Golf Channel will be televising the event.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA TOUR

Young Competing in Wilmington

Fordham Prep graduate Cameron Young will be one of the golfers teeing off Thursday in the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship in Wilmington, Del.

Tee times will be released Wednesday for the four-day tournament.

Last weekend, Young finished tied for 31st at six under over four days at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis. He shot four under on the tournament’s final day.

The 25 year old is the leading candidate for the 2022 PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year with his five second-place finishes, including recent back-to-back second-place finishes at The Open Championship in Scotland and the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA TOUR

Young Places 2nd at Detroit

Fordham Prep graduate Cameron Young placed second on the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

Young, 25, shot 4-under par over the final six holes to finish at 21 under for the tournament and in a three-way tie with Patrick Cantlay and Taylor Pendrith. Tony Finau won the tournament at 26 under.

It was the second consecutive second-place finish for Young, who was second two weeks earlier at The Open Championship in Scotland.

Young, a graduate of Wake Forest University, has five second-place finishes and seven top-10 finishes. He is the leading candidate for the PGA’s Rookie of the Year and ranks ninth in the FedEx Cup standings.

PGA golfers will be competing Aug. 4-7 in the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA TOUR

Stepinac Grad Williams Reporting to Preseason Camp with Dolphins

Archbishop Stepinac High School graduate Trill Williams will report to his second training camp with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.

The Dolphins will open their 2022 preseason at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Williams played in one game, dressed and did not play in four games, and was inactive for 12 games in 2021. In his one game against the New England Patriots on Jan. 9, he did not record any stats in his NFL debut.

The cornerback was signed as an undrafted free agent and released three days later by the New Orleans Saints in May 2021. The Dolphins signed him three days after his release from the Saints.

At Stepinac, Williams played cornerback, wide receiver and running back. As a senior, he earned first-team all-state honors from the New York State Sportswriters Association after helping Stepinac win the 2017 Catholic school state championship. He finished with 46 tackles, five interceptions and 19 passes defensed. On offense, he had 317 rushing yards, 217 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Williams played three seasons at Syracuse University before declaring himself eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI DOLPHINS

Fordham Prep Graduate Shoots 65, Places Second at The Open

Cameron Young fell one stroke short of winning his first PGA event.

The Fordham Prep graduate shot a 7-under 65 in the final round of The Open Championship on Sunday to finish at 19 under for the four-day tournament at St. Andrews in Scotland.

Cameron Smith finished at 8 under Sunday and 20 under over four days to win the tournament.

The Open Championship is one of the four major championship tournaments on the PGA Tour.

“I think I gave myself a really nice chance, frustrating to come up short, but overall I think I had a really good week, and I think I hung in there really well today,” said Young, a Scarborough resident in Westchester County in the press conference following the tournament. 

“I played really well today and I would have signed up for 65 this morning and to watch Cameron shoot what he did was pretty amazing.”

Young and Smith were tied entering Sunday’s final round, and trailed leaders Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland by four strokes. Young and Smith took over the tournament spotlight on the back nine where Young shot 5 under and Smith finished 6 under.

“I had a front row seat to I’m sure one of the better rounds that’s been played this year,” said Young.

Young, 25, shot under par in all four rounds of the open, including a 64 to lead the tournament after the first day.

Young, who placed second for the fourth time in his young PGA career, earned $1.455 million for placing second at The Open Championship.

PHOTO OF CAMERON YOUNG COURTESY OF PGA TOUR

Jackson, Fland Lead Team USA to Gold Medal at FIBA U17 World Cup

Cardinal Hayes High School’s Ian Jackson and Archbishop Stepinac High School’s Johnuel “Boogie” Fland helped Team USA capture the gold medal at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Spain.

Team USA defeated Spain for the gold medal, 79-67, on Sunday.

Team USA finished 3-0 in pool play, averaging 106.7 points per game and allowing 54.3 points per game. The United States defeated Egypt, 103-48, in the first round; Serbia, 106-80, in the quarterfinals; and Lithuania, 89-62, in the semifinals.

ESPN ranks Jackson as the third-best rising high school junior in the nation, and Fland is No. 18 in the same ranking.

Jackson averaged 11.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game at the World Cup. The 6-foot-7 small forward shot 58.7 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three-point range. He scored 26 points against Mali and 21 points versus Lebanon.

Jackson has received scholarship offers so far from colleges such as St. John’s, Connecticut and Seton Hall.

Fland finished with 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. The 6-foot-3 guard, who turned 16 on July 10, scored 11 points in the quarterfinal win over Serbia.

Fland has received scholarship offers thus far from schools including Connecticut, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, Pittsburgh, Miami (Fla.), Maryland, Illinois and Fordham.