Isaiah Briscoe shared a backcourt with current Milwaukee Bucks and former Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis at national powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., in his first two high school seasons.
He then transferred to Roselle Catholic, also in New Jersey, and subsequently led the Lions to the top of the national polls--reaching as high as number two in the USA Today Super 25 this season.
Needless to say, Briscoe, nicknamed “Must See T.V.”, is accustomed to the bright lights and the big stage. But playing on a stage made of bright lights? That is a different story - even for the top point guard in the nation.
On February 15, Roselle Catholic faced off with Our Savior New American of Centereach, N.Y., and five-star power forward Cheick Diallo at Nike Zoom Arena, a climate-controlled tent that the sneaker company built in the SoHo section of Manhattan featuring a basketball court made of LED panels covered by glass tiles, while the NBA All-Star Game was in town. The court, along with the dimly-lit arena, created a vibe that you are more likely to find at a nightclub than at a gym.
Three games were played in total, with participating schools coming from New York and New Jersey. Each game was scored on GameChanger’s scorekeeping app, which allows fans to track stats and follow a live play-by-play as games are happening in real time, while shot charts and a multitude of advanced stats allow coaches to further analyze their team’s play.
Roselle Catholic outlasted Our Savior, 63-59, on the unique surface, behind 29 points from the McDonald’s All-American and 15 points from small forward Matt Bullock, who posted a .697 effective field goal percentage. In other action, Bryce Aiken led The Patrick School to an easy 78-47 win over South Shore, and Sydney Zambrotta had 29 points as the Christ the King girls team topped The Mary Louis Academy, 64-51.
Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried spent some time courtside, as did Kentucky head coach John Calipari who was there to watch Briscoe, a future Wildcat - but the futuristic floor may just have stolen the show.
The programmable court electronically displayed a wide array of content from team logos during the action to video and graphics during stoppages in play, including caricatures of some of Nike’s All-Star endorsers like LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
While a LED basketball court can turn a normal game into a unique fan experience, the more practical use for this technology may come on non-gamedays. The court, with built-in motion sensors, is capable of tracking player movement or guiding players through drills with the use of instructional graphics - assisting coaches in making adjustments (i.e. which player was out of position on defense?) or walking players through the steps to properly execute a specific play or drill.
How do you think this type of technology will impact basketball? In what ways would you incorporate some of the court’s capabilities into your practices?
Give your take in the comment section below or on Twitter @GCSportsHoops.