By Eddie Castro
Lincoln High School is well-known for producing some of the top basketball players to make it to the NBA. Players such as Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stevenson. Once again, another chapter for Lincoln High is about to begin as Coney Island native Isiah Whitehead’s dream became a reality. Two weeks ago, with family and friends watching, Whitehead was drafted by his hometown team Brooklyn Nets after exchanging draft picks with the Utah Jazz to get him.
The press conference for Isiah was just as exciting as the moment he got drafted. There were No.15 basketball jerseys and an appearance by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to go along with a large media crowd last week at the Coney Island Boardwalk. The former Seton Hall star is expected to contribute right away for a Nets roster that does not really have much talent. At 6-foot-4, playing the point guard position can be very challenging, however, Whitehead’s current coach (Kenny Atkinson) thinks he has the tools to be successful at the pro level. “I believe he can be an NBA point guard because of his passing ability.” While watching film of Whitehead, it was almost a certainty that Atkinson was fascinated by just that even though he is viewed by many as a scorer. In his sophomore year for Seton Hall, he averaged 5.1 assists per game, leading the Pirates to their first NCAA tournament in 10 years and their first Big East title in 23 years.
A few days after he was drafted, Whitehead was still in awe with himself living his dream in playing in the NBA and seeing his name and number stitched onto the back of an NBA jersey. Whitehead went on to say: “It probably won’t hit me until I am on the Barclays Center court and there are friends and family in the crowd.” The chance for Isiah to prove he can play at the next level will be on July 9, the beginning of the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. We all wish the young Brooklyn native the best of luck and a healthy career!
Sports Notes: (Basketball) Notable free agent signings: Top free agent Kevin Durant has decided to leave the Thunder to join the Warriors. The New York Knicks have signed free agent players center Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings. The Brooklyn Nets have signed players Jeremy Lin, Trever Booker and Tyler Johnson.