BROOKLYN, NY - This year's 9th Annual Under Armour Elite 24 held at the scenic Brooklyn Bridge Park - Pier 2 began with overshadow of dark clouds.
As game time approached, the basketball gods would bless the court and the sunshine peeked out, long enough to witness a spectacular game.
The Elite 24 game had that old feeling back this year's group of high major players evoked comparisons to Elite's very first event that produced many top NBA pros. Team Liberty donning UA green gear was down by nine by the end of the first quarter. However, Liberty team would come back to capture a win over the Blue Team Freedom, 127-116.
For the first time there would be co-MVP's Jaylen Brown would finish with 23 points and Chase Jeter would shatter the Elite 24 rebounding record with 15 rebounds.
With the first quarter under way the athletically charged Team Freedom took over creating an 11 point deficit at the 11:43 mark 33-22. Within eight minutes remaining Team Freedom's Terrance Ferguson led all scoring with 11points. Team Liberty's Jayson Tatum delivered a nice feed to Brown inching his team closer. Tatum would make a tough inside shot through defenders making it a six point game, Freedom still led 56-51 with four minutes remaining. Jeter hook shot would make it a three point game but NYer Donovan Mitchell stole the show with a nasty inside move to the basket to fuel his Liberty team. Team Freedom held on by the end of this quarter 69-60.
In the second half of this match-up, Team Liberty would prove, it's not how you start its how you finish. Liberty's Stephen Zimmerman scored off the glass making it a three point game. Mitchell dishes a nice feed to Mustapha Heron making it a one point game. After several basket exchanges Ferguson scored at the line, knotting the score at 89. The score would tie one more time before the Liberty team would reach NBA numbers taking the lead 100-99.
The Liberty squad would not look back dominating in final minutes. With 3:46 minutes remaining in the quarter mother nature speak. The fear of more rain drops led to a decision to just run the clock and let them play. Within two minutes left of regulation Tatum would score the last basket of the game. UA staff would announce game over for safety reasons.