Most players attending the Jordan Brand Classic have been traveling across the country the past few weeks, playing in organized events like the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago or the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland.
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At the Wyndham New Yorker hotel in Midtown, a block away from Madison Square Garden, the players settled into their digs, equipped with everything the players needed for the week—and plenty they didn’t. The players lounge was decked out with white couches, a massive TV screen for NBA 2K15 battles, pop-a-shot, a pool table and ping pong.
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Carmelo Anthony giving a speech at the podium at the Jordan Brand Classic.
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The first event for the week was a trip to the Lucky Strike bowling alley near Times Square. Inside the players were greeted by Jordan Brand athletes Victor Oladipo, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and reigning WNBA MVP Maya Moore.
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Malik Newman enjoys the team's bowling night out at Lucky Strike near Times Square in New York City.
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Victor Oladipo was the star of the of the night taking over the brand’s Snapchat, singing a verse of Musiq Soulchild's “So beautiful,” and getting into a competitive bowling match against Andre Drummond.
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After practice the players visited the 9/11 memorial and took an emotional tour around the site. The next stop was a trip back to the hotel for a video game challenge set up NCAA tournament-style. Jalen Coleman-Lands and Stephen Zimmerman battle it out here.
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Combo guard Isaiah Briscoe ultimately took home the crown and was named the Jordan Brand Classic 2015 Video Game Champion.
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After practice the team went down to Church Street Boxing gym and learned some techniques from elite trainers.
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The first practice was held at the Terminal 23 gym, which is just doors down from Madison Square Garden. The gym is a Jordan Brand performance space and the offseason home for Carmelo Anthony to train.
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Thursday morning was an early bird practice, but by watching the players practice there was no way of telling it was 8:30 a.m.
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Observers got a glimpse of some of the most dynamic scorers in the 2015 class, including Antonio Blakeney, Malik Newman and Dwayne Bacon.
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Skal Labissiere (with the ball)
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Malik Newman guarded by Antonio Blakeney
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The West team practice seemed to grow in intensity by the minute, with LSU-bound Blakeney catching fire and throwing down several impressive dunks. Here Malik Beasley rises for the slam.
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The West team ultimately won the game 118–116 but it was the East’s team Isaiah Briscoe who was the star of the show. Due to proximity of his hometown in Jersey, Briscoe’s confidence was on a different level.
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Cheikh Diallo goes through the motions of shooting free throws during the Jordan Brand Classic.
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The co-MVPs of the game were uncommitted big Cheick Diallo and Arizona signee and guard Allonzo Trier who had 26 points on 8-10 shooting for the western squad.
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