To kick off a summer full of basketball, some of the best high school basketball players in the country brought their talents by West Orange High School in New Jersey to participate in the fourth annual Mary Kline Classic on Saturday. A couple of the featured players will be wearing Orange within the next couple of seasons.
There were three Syracuse commitments that played in Saturday’s event, Chris McCullough from the class of 014 and Malachi Richardson and Franklin Howard of the class of 2015. Class of 2015 center and 29th ranked player according to ESPN Moustapha Diagne was also there and made the announcement following his game that he plans to play for Syracuse after high school, becoming the fourth recruit from his class to commit to play for the Orange. All in all, it was a big day for the future of the Syracuse Orange basketball team.
The one day event is put on by aspiring basketball recruiting analyst Alex Kline, who is just 19 years old and has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice. The event is a fundraiser in support of his mother Mary Kline and others who have had cancer. This year, the event raised $31,000.
Diagne and Howard squared off against each other in the underclassmen game, even guarding each other at times according to Syracuse.com’s Mike Waters. Diagne scored 18 points and Howard added 11, all in the second half. Howard, the 58th ranked player in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2015, missed all of his junior season recovering from a torn ACL. The 6-foot-5 combo guard from Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va has the ability to bring the ball up the court and play off the ball, which is exciting for Syracuse fans. McCullough, one of two class of 2014 commitments to Syracuse and only one to attend the MKC on Saturday, played a lot of minutes in the senior game, hitting a three and scoring on multiple fast break opportunities Mike Waters added. Richardson, from Trenton Catholic Academy, played in the event for the second straight year. He is ranked 21st in the nation according to the Rivals150 for the Class of 2015.