It won't be just the Arizona heat making Suns GM Ryan McDonough sweat. Now that Phoenix has won the NBA Draft Lottery, McDonough will have to choose between pleasing local fans by taking University of Arizona and Arizona high school standout DeAndre Ayton, or taking advantage of the connection between his new coach, Igor Kokoskov, and Luka Doncic, Kokoskov's pupil on the Slovenian national team. ESPN's Jonathan Givony has the Suns taking Ayton, which would make him the fifth City of Palms player to go No. 1 overall since 2010. Givony has four other City of Palms alums among his projected lottery picks this year, as we note here.
Less than a month after breaking LeBron James' scoring record with a 44-point MVP-winning performance at the Jordan Brand Classic, City of Palms alum Emmitt Williams delivered another stirring performance at the Ballislife All-American Game. The LSU signee and Orlando Oak Ridge power forward notched game highs of 31 points and 12 rebounds, earning co-MVP honors with future LSU teammate Moses Brown. Williams and  Orlando Christian Prep's Nassir Little were the City of Palms representatives on the Ballislife All-American Team Second Five.  Junior Vernon Carey, who dazzled as he led University School (Fort Lauderdale) to the 2017 City of Palms championship,  was named to the Ballislife All-American Team First Five. So too was  Duke-bound R.J. Barrett, who helped Montverde Academy to the 2016 City of Palms title. 
(Credit NJ Hoop Recruit)
(Credit EliteMixtapes)
(Credit NJ Hoop Recruit)
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Thirty years after his father was the starting point guard for an NCAA champion, City of Palms alumnus Cole Anthony may have the chance to say the same. The son of UNLV legend Greg Anthony is tearing up the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, averaging a league-high 25.6 points per game through the first three weeks of competition. The performance earned him the top spot in the  USA TODAY Chosen 25 2019 Boys Basketball  rankings this week. He'll have to answer for an assist-to-turnover ratio that includes more turnovers per game (3.9) than assists (3.6), but Anthony is clearly one of the top talents in the nation heading into his senior year at Archbishop Molloy (N.Y.)
Director of Officiating Kevin Hetherington expounded on some of the differences between officiating the NBA and top-level college and high school basketball in last month's newsletter. This time around, with the NBA Playoffs getting down to the Conference Finals, we ask Kevin more about what sets the Association apart - and how younger players are following its lead.

Q.   Has anything specific taken place recently to erode the level of control that NBA refs have?

A.  "One of the things that's happening is The Last Two Minute Reports they issue after every game. How can you critique someone on what happened in the last two minutes of the game without the context of what happened in the minutes prior to that? There's no context for what happens in the rest of the game in the Last Two Minute Reports. It's created friction."

Q. You said last month that you don't see a ton of combative behavior from NBA players toward officials rubbing off on top-level amateurs. But is there anything you've seen that you try to put a stop to?

A.  Some of the stuff that does trickle down is players trying to fool referees. They know that referees can be fooled, so they do things in their game to literally try to fool us. It becomes a difficult thing to referee. I will tell players occasionally, 'Honestly, I can't tell when you're being fouled or when you're not being fouled, because you spend so much time trying to fool me, I don't know. I can't tell the difference. So I basically tell them to knock it off."

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