“They say he’s an All-American, well show me something!” one spectator demanded.
“This ain’t no Catholic league son; it’s the blacktop,” another bystander declared.
The vultures were out in cut throat fashion and ready to pounce on Tuesday at Washington, D.C.’s Goodman League. With their sights set on DeMatha High School’s decorated point guard Quinn Cook, the highly coveted junior didn’t disappoint—it just took him a while to get going.
Making his second appearance at the storied ballpark, Cook gave way his starting position to a longtime Goodman veteran on his Drama Detail team. But once his dues were paid, it was time for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year to cash in. Cook entered the game shortly before the half but missed his first three-pointer and had his reverse layup pinned on a fastbreak, a shaky start for the 16-year-old.
On defense, famed streetballer Randy “White Chocolate” Gill had his intentions set on going after “the youngster,” as he was referred to repeatedly by announcer Miles Rawls. Isolated against Cook at the top of the key, the Madness team’s point guard dribbled and dazzled, but the DeMatha star was unfazed, staying in front of Gill and deflecting his dribble out of bounds.
The strong defensive stand got “the youngster” going as he would knock down his next two shots; a quick layup and a deep jumpshot that eased the hecklers off his back. Cook started the second half similar to how he finished the first, swishing jumpshots and dishing out no-look passes. He drew a few claps from an applause-stingy crowd on a double-pump layup, drawing the foul and the basket before converting the free throw. His Drama Detail team would eventually run the Madness squad off the court through a series of fast breaks and highlight dunks.
This summer’s Drama Detail team is strong, with athletic big men and a slew of guards. They’ll be tough to handle for opponents throughout the season.
It’s not easy playing at the Goodman league and for a fresh-faced youngster from a Catholic high school. Nerves would typically get the best of most kids, but Cook isn’t your average Xbox-playing adolescent. Day two of the Goodman league featured several quality players but when a high school star comes to visit, attention flags are immediately raised. Cook didn’t explode for 30 or 40 points but he did impress, a performance even the courtside critics had to acknowledge.
“I wanted to come out and have a good game and I think I did that,” Cook said.