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May 7, 2008

iS8/Nike Playoffs: Where the Stars Come out to Play

Now that the regular season is over, the real games begin. The iS8/Nike High School Spring Classic began with 50 teams in five divisions. Each team played four games in the regular season which is now followed by the playoffs.

The playoffs begin on Thursday where the top 20 teams play do-or-die until one team remains standing and is crowned champion.

The 25 year old tournament, run by its commissioner Pete Edwards, always features the top tier talent in the Northeast and beyond. Because each team has a three player open roster allocation, the playoffs get amped up a notch as many teams will import the most high powered high school players from around the nation to bolster their chances of taking home the coveted iS8/Nike Championship hardware. As a result, you get to see the best against the best playing hard to win the chip.

This year as it was last year, the top seed is the Shooting Stars. The defending champions feature Louisville-commit Samardo Samuels, Devin Ebanks, Kansas-bound Tyshawn Taylor, NC commit Ed Davis, Florida commit Erving Walker and Syracuse-bound Mookie Jones.

The two-seed are the Playaz Club Seniors from New Jersey. This team is chock-filled with D-1 talent.

They feature the trifecta squad of Mike Rosario, Travon Woodall and Jiovanny Fontan along with a host of NJ talent.

The three seed team is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. They are a team primarily composed of players from the State champion Abraham Lincoln Railsplitters and coached by Dwayne "Tiny" Morton. They consist of junior phenom Lance Stephenson along with Darwin Budha Ellis, Justin Greene and James Padgett. Coming off the bench is David Imes and Keith Spellman.

There are also long shot first timers in the playoffs such as the 9 seeded Unique All-stars from Long Island, NY. They feature the sophomore sensations Tobias Harris and Taran Buie. They went undefeated in the regular season recently defeating the #13 seeded Playaz Club Juniors with Dominic Cheek and Tamir Jackson

The first round excitement begins on Thursday and Friday evening with second round action all day Saturday from 9:15am - 4:45pm. The quarterfinals will be on Sunday May 11th from 9:15am - 11:45am.

On the following Saturday (May 17th) the semifinals will occur at 11:00am and 12:30pm with the Championship game on Sunday (May 18th) at 12 noon.

The iS8 is located at 108-35 167th Street in Jamaica, NY but the venue is small and will be packed from wall to wall to wall.

For those of you who want a front row seat at your computer screen, the semifinals and championship game will be webcasted by HSBnetwork.TV, The High School Basketball Network complete with play-by-play and color commentary.

As always, NYCHoops will provide complete coverage. To see the complete playoff schedule plus match-ups and times, go to the "Quick Links" section of NYCHoops.net

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