Senior ● Newark ● boys basketball
THE WEEK: Scored 20 points to help the Yellowjackets down St. Elizabeth 60-54 for their eighth straight win. “It was just an important win,” said Blake, who believes the come-from-behind win was imperative to place higher in seeding.
THE SEASON: Newark was 7-5 midway through the season, but has won eight straight going into the state tournament. “Honestly, I feel as though that we could work on a lot of stuff, still build chemistry and just work harder,” Blake said.
THE TURNAROUND: Blake credits Newark’s point guard Marquis Clarke with pushing the Yellowjackets in the right direction. Blake said Clarke asked teammates at practice if they wanted to win or not. The ‘Jackets haven’t lost a game since.
THE COACH SAYS: “He’s been a pleasant surprise for us. I’ve been trying to get him to be a little bit more aggressive throughout the year,” said Shannon McCants of Blake, who played at Howard for two years. “I just want him to definitely concentrate on playing aggressive offensively, being a team player, and just staying out of foul trouble. As long as I can keep him on the floor, I’m going to feel good about our chances.”
THE INSPIRATION: Blake, who originally clung to soccer, began playing basketball at the age of 6. “I never liked basketball until I saw that I was taller than people so I just had an advantage over a lot of people but now I like it,” said Blake, who is now 6-foot-6.
THE CLASSROOM: The center enjoys his media course more than others. “I like being in front of the camera,” he said.
THE FUTURE: The senior has looked at colleges such as Virginia Union, Lincoln, LaSalle, Siena, and Fairfield. “I want to play basketball, but I just look forward to a good education,” he said.
— Gianna Banner