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December 15, 2011By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - West Houston
City-Ranked District-Makes Ready to do Battle on National Broadcast
Stars will be Out for Strake Jesuit versus Seven Lakes Contest
By Matt Malatesta
When: Saturday December 17th at 6 pm (CST)
Where: Seven Lakes High School
Broadcast: Live by ESHN at www.vypehouston.com, powered by iHigh.com. Also the iHoops.com Game of the Week
The Strake Jesuit Crusaders are on top of the Houston basketball world as they boast one of the most celebrated national recruits that Bayou City has seen in years.
Senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon signed with Duke University in November and is living up to the hype as the Crusaders are state-ranked with a 7-2 record.
“We have a big target on our backs this year because we are the defending district champs,” said Sulaimon. “We’ve been working harder in the offseason and this season we have the same goals but we want to go further in the playoffs.”
Joining Sulaimon on a senior-heavy roster is Arkansas-Little Rock signee John Gillon. The pair make up the best senior backcourt in the city.
Trying to knock off Strake Jesuit Saturday is district-rival Seven Lakes, which made a run to the regionals last year with a few stars of their own. Pepperdine-signee Atif Russell anchors the Spartans in scoring and rebounding as a 6-foot-4 combo-guard. Jaylon Jones is also a valuable piece to the puzzle as is the return of point-guard Trey Pinkney.
"We’re excited about getting district-play underway,” said Russell. “The city of Houston probably has the best basketball around and we’re just looking forward to playing the top competition this season. It starts with Strake Jesuit."
Trey Pinkney should provide a spark on the offense when he returns as he averaged 12.3 points per game last year as a junior. Despite his absence, Pinkney contends that his team is ready to step up to the rigors of the district competition.
“My teammates look good right now,” said Pinkney. “As a team we’ve looked aggressive in practice and we have a lot of unknown players that will hopefully allow us to make a name for ourselves.”
Looking to dethrone the reigning district champs in Strake Jesuit, Seven Lakes is ready to rise up to the challenge in such a competitive district.
“Every game for us is in a hostile environment so you have to come out and give 100-percent every night,” said Russell. “District competition is one of the most intense atmospheres that you can be in because every game is packed. It’s a real good feeling to play in that environment.”
The game will be broadcasted live by EHSN and can be viewed at www.vypehouston.com, powered by iHigh.com. It's also the Game of the Week for iHoops.com.