Photo courtesy of Dave’s Joint.
By David Cordova
This is Part 9 of our sixteen-part series, “This Is New York,” as we chronicled Kadary Richmond, who was recently recognized as Nike’s Player of the Summer, due to his play in the NY vs. NY Tournament, and was also a two-time city champion at Brooklyn’s South Shore High School, who will be doing a post-graduate year at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire and is now down to four schools: UConn, Oregon, St. John’s and Seton Hall.
Throughout this summer, the NY vs. NY Tournament has had plenty of standouts in the tournament as the seven-week long event had New York City in a frenzy. Parks were packed and players came to show their stuff. But one player in particular commanded the attention of all of the onlookers every week.
Kadary Richmond was the star and his stage was the playground or the hardwood. It seemed as if everywhere he went he performed and shone brightly. The 6-foot-5 guard from Brooklyn’s South Shore never skipped a beat from the high school season to the summer. When he’s on the court, he doesn’t do much talking. In fact, his game does the talking for him.
He throws down dunks, he even glides past defenders swiftly and his passing is effortless. That’s what made him popular throughout this summer and in past years. It has also made him an attractive prospect to college coaches.
A native of the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Richmond has been playing the game of basketball since the game of six. It has been something that help keep him away from negative influences and continues to take him far.
“Everybody’s supporting me right now, so I can be the best I can be. I’m just trying to do what I can do,” he said of his community.
When asked about the strengths and weaknesses in his game, he replied, “I believe I need to improve on shooting, and my strength is making my teammates better.”
At South Shore, he was a three-year player on the varsity. By his junior season, he emerged as one of the Vikings’ leaders, as he averaged 10.5 points per game and led them to the school’s first city championship on the boys level in school history.
As a senior, he stepped up his performance and averaged 12.4 points per game and helped lead the Vikings to their second straight PSAL championship. Throughout the last two seasons, with Richmond, his fellow teammates Femi Odukale, Isaiah Richards, Dwight Davis, Jr. and the rest of the supporting cast, South Shore went a combined 48-14.
When asked about his time at the Flatlands school, he replied, “It was good, it gave me a platform to show everybody what I could do.”
This spring, he played on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit with Mass Rivals, but then sat out the July Live Period. However, in June, he put on a very strong showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in front of college coaches and NBA scouts.
When asked about the experience of playing in a major event like the Top 100 Camp, he replied, “It was a good experience, talking to the NBA players and learning what I have to do to get there.”
After the camp, despite not playing AAU with his peers in July, Richmond ended up with more than 20 offers and quickly became one of the most sought-after recruits in the nation. When asked about being recruited by high-major schools, he replied, “It’s good, it lets me know that I’m actually getting better, it shows me that I can actually play ball with the best of them.”
As of yesterday, he now has a final four list of schools in UConn, Orgeon, St. John’s and Seton Hall. The best thing about this recruitment is that three of the four schools are within the tri-state area, and as of next year, with UConn transitioning back to the Big East Conference beginning next summer, will all be playing in the same conference. The allure of playing in the Big East will be something that Richmond’s supporters will all love, as he will be able to play in Madison Square Garden every March, provided he doesn’t choose Oregon and the Pac-12 Conference.
When asked what colleges will have to do to land his services, he replied, “Just welcome me. [I have to] feel like it’s a family on campus, that’s about it.”
As big as he is with the college coaches, Richmond was even bigger on the streetball circuit, as he made his bones playing with the Brooklyn Stompers in tournaments such as Dyckman and West 4thand with Fearless Matrix in Gersh Park.
In NY vs NY, he had his share of major moments. On June 25th, Week 1 of NY vs. NY went took place at Gersh Park in East New York, Brooklyn and Richmond and the Gersh Park squad, which was a group of the best players from all over Brooklyn and the the two-time champions of the event, squared off against the Watson Classic of the Bronx. In a close game in the fourth quarter, nearing the end of regulation, Richmond ran up the court and launched a running hook shot by the three-point line, which went in and won Gersh the game and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
When asked about the game-winning shot, he replied, “It was a good shot, I thought it was going to go off the glass, though, but it still went in. It got me some recognition,” he said. Also going on that day was his high school graduation from South Shore, which was hours earlier. By the next morning, entities like SLAM, Bleacher Report, and NJ Hoop Recruit had the shot going viral on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
Another big moment that took place was on August 6that Riverbank State Park, as Gersh routed the Tri-State Classic. In that game, Richmond scored 51 points, becoming the first player in the three-year history of the event to score 50 points. Although Gersh fell short of achieving their goal of a three-peat, Richmond made his mark throughout the summer, and was named Nike’s Player of the Summer.
However, there is more in store for Richmond, as he will be doing a post-graduate year at perennial national powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire this fall, which will help him get ready for college basketball.
When asked about the move to Brewster, he replied, “I need to get my mind together, I need to get my body stronger, and improve on certain parts of my game before I reach the college level.”
This fall, this is what the NEPSAC can expect from Richmond, “A winner, leadership.”
Now that he is leaving Brooklyn in his rearview mirror, there is plenty in store ahead for Kadary Richmond. Around this time next year, he will be preparing for his first collegiate season on a campus of either of the four schools that are presently recruiting him. Wherever he goes, he will make a big impact. An impact that the kid they call, “Kooks,” will definitely deliver. As he showed on a June night in East New York, Brooklyn, he is definitely not afraid of the big moments.
Check out Part 10 on Saturday, August 24th, as we will be chronicling T.J. Morris, a rising junior at Nazareth High School in Flatbush, Brooklyn who is one of the city’s most athletic players and a big-time Division I prospect in the making.