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This past weekend I took a little vacation in the city that never sleeps, the week was filled with many unique experiences that only New York City has to offer, but the experience that stands out from the bunch is without a doubt my visit to Dyckman where one of the best High School scorers in the history of the country, Joe Girard from Glenn Falls came into the jungle that is Dyckman for a special guest appearance set up by Slam Magazine to take on some of the best the city has to offer in the Dyckman Summer League.

What Makes Dyckman so Unique?

Outside of the game being played on the court, the entire aura of the environment captured under the lights with the subway frequently rolling overhead by, the “cigar” smoke in the air, the vendors selling $1 lemonades and empanadas, and the attention these young stars capture from the spirit of an entire city culminates into an experience unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before.  I understand that the HoopState produces the best talent in the country and has built it’s reputation through having the best events, prospects, media coverage, and overall basketball culture in the country, but NYC is known as the mecca for a reason.  The city’s basketball history is undeniable and the parks bring the most unique history to the forefront than any other aspect from basketball culture with in the city.  Between Rucker, Dyckman, and everything else in between, from Dr J, to Kobe, to KD, to the whole Jelly empire, the outdoor parks in this city create a culture that is both cutthroat and inclusive for everyone all at the same time.  It’s where people come together over a ball and a rim that might not have any mesh woven through it, creating an undeniable bond between all in attendance.

So…. the Basketball?

The marquee matchup of the night was between Joe Girard, a man that averaged around 50 PPG last year and is considering attending Duke, Boston College, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Penn State for his college years.  His opponent was Jose Perez from The Bronx that will be playing ball at Gardner-Webb next year after finishing his high school career at Putnam Science Academy.  Girard has been compared to fellow Glenns Falls native Jimmer Freddette with his ability to simply light it up from the perimeter unlike just about anyone in the country while also being capable of running his team.  Perez is more of an unknown outside of NYC, but the city know’s their hoops and Perez is an incredibly capable wing that uses his strength and savviness to create offense for himself while being able to put a defender on the deck with his handle, creating highlight after highlight in this one.  Girard finished with 13 points despite dealing with double teams for the majority of the game, and he quickly earned the respect of a hostile crowd with his ability to knock down DEEP jumpers off the bounce and attack the rack with a sense of fearlessness that had everyone come to the understanding that Girard was ready for the stage.  His team walked away with the win, and he earned the respect of the city, and his opponents.  There was trash talk, there was hostility, there were buckets, there was a lot of “extra curricular” activity going on in the stands, but it was simply the most unforgettable basketball experience I’ve had to date.