CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. -- The Eddie Griffin Memorial Challenge is a matchup between the best high school basketball players from New Jersey, and their counter parts from across the Delaware River in Philadelphia. This year's triple-header featuring sophomores, juniors and seniors provided a glimpse of future ACC and Big East matchups. The event has been organized and run by Playaz Basketball Club president Jimmy Salmons for the past seven years. It is held in memory of his former player Eddie Griffin, who starred Philadelphia's fabled Roman Catholic High School and Seton Hall University before playing in the NBA.
This year's teams from the Garden State were out for redemption after they were swept by Philly's Phinest last year. Regardless of the turnpike traffic, the ride home to New Jersey was a bit more pleasant after they won two of the three games this year. In a star-studded senior game, the New Jersey players outlasted the Philadelphians 111-103 behind the outstanding play of game MVP and recent Duke commit Kyrie Irving (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Patrick's) -- who finished with 19 points and 12 assists -- future Seton Hall Pirate, Fuquan Edwin (Paterson, N.J./Paterson Catholic) -- who contributed 24 points -- and the man-child Derrick Williams (Jersey City, NJ/St. Anthony's) who added 18 points and collected seven rebounds. (Williams will undoubtedly help the University of Richmond and coach Chris Mooney compete in the Atlantic 10.)
Team Philly was paced by its MVP Virginia Tech-bound Tyrone Garland (Philadelphia/John Bartram) with 17 points, Wake Forest commit Tony Chennault (Philadelphia, PA/Nueman-Goretti) added 15 points, and South Philly standout Dion Waiters (Burlington, N.J./Life Center) chipped in a quiet 14 but showed why Syracuse will be glad to add him to the backcourt next year.