Big Apple Basketball: Nike brings the hype to big-time matchups on NYC's Canal Street

Big Apple Basketball: Nike brings the hype to big-time matchups on NYC's Canal Street

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Big Apple Basketball: Nike brings the hype to big-time matchups on NYC's Canal Street

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ALL-USA candidate Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American is from Mali. Associated Press photo.

ALL-USA candidate Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American is from Mali. Associated Press photo.

People have already taken notice of Nike’s first promotional gimmick around NBA All-Star weekend, a giant interactive Nike shoe box on Bowery and Great Jones Street. It’s a shiny and pretty creative effort. Yet it pales in comparison to the full event that Nike is putting on Sunday at a futuristic pop up court that the company has also created near the aforementioned shoe box.

First, the court: This is Nike’s Zoom City Arena:

The idea is that the court responds to the players competing on it, in the brightest, shiniest way possible (because, of course it does with Nike). It would be an entertaining effort on its own merit, but Nike decided to go ahead and stage a primo event in the shadow of the All-Star game, bringing in terrific high school talent to stage a trio of games at Zoom City Arena on Sunday.

The highlight of the three games is a matchup between the tri-state area’s two most prominent programs in the 2014-15 campaign: New Jersey’s Roselle Catholic, just outside the Super 25 rankings (they currently occupy the No. 28 slot) and  Our Savior New American School, from Centereach in Long Island.

Why the focus on Our Savior New American? It’s all about Cheick Diallo. The 6-foot-9 power forward is a consensus top-10 recruit nationally, and he’s one of the most compelling recruits you can find. He has all the skills to be a breakout star on both the collegiate and pro stage, and he’ll be facing off against another top-1o recruit in Roselle’s Isaiah Briscoe.

Yes, that’s a point guard vs. power forward matchup, but anytime you get two prospects at that level, you can’t help but get excited.

There are two other New York region-themed contests at Zoom City Arena on Sunday as well — traditional New Jersey power The Patrick School will take on South Shore while Christ the King, of Middle Village in Queens, will take on The Mary Louis Academy.

It’s a big day. On a big-time court. With national television (tune in to Fox Sports as 12 p.m. for the Christ the King game, 2 p.m. for the Roselle-Our Savior game and 4 p.m. for the Patrick School contest). It will be a big event which won’t be repeated, all in the confines of a pretty unique setting. One thing that seems certain: It will be fun.

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Big Apple Basketball: Nike brings the hype to big-time matchups on NYC's Canal Street
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