By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
All season long, the Lincoln Railsplitters were expected to compete for a state title, but after being upset by the Jefferson Orange Wave in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) semifinals last week they not only missed out on a city title, but will not even get a chance to compete in the state tournament in Albany later this month.
Despite that, the good news coming out of Lincoln High School hasn't stopped, as Isaiah Whitehead made the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star team and was named Mr. New York Basketball this week. That news came after Lincoln's head coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton finally admitted that there is a "good chance" that he'll be an assistant coach at Seton Hall next year.
"You always want to go out as a winner," Morton said while wearing a Seton Hall hat after Lincoln was eliminated by Jefferson in the PSAL's semifinals. When asked if that meant that this would be his last game coaching at Lincoln he responded, "Yeah, I think so."
When Whitehead committed to Seton Hall back in September, the New York Post had a report that said that Morton would be joining him at the Jersey school next season as an assistant coach. Morton would neither confirm or deny those reports. Last week was the closest he came to admitting it when a reporter asked him point blank if he would be at Seton Hall next year and he replied that there was a "good chance."
Morton is likely unable to make an official announcement at this time because Seton Hall currently has a full assistant coaching staff and changes would have to be made to fit him onto the team. Morton said an official announcement should be expected during his retirement party, which will be held on May 20.
As for Whitehead, being named Mr. New York Basketball, an award that goes to the top senior in the state, and making the Jordan Brand Classic team are the two final personal achievements that he needed to cap off a magnificent high school career. Whitehead, who won the city championship with Lincoln last season, has already been named a McDonald's All-American and played in the Elite 24 last September.
Whitehead joins an elite group of Lincoln basketball players named Mr. Basketball. Lance Stephenson was the last to win the award back in 2009, Sebastian Telfair got the honor in 2004 and Stephon Marbury also received it way back in 1995.
Morton and Whitehead aren't the only Brooklyn products headed to Seton Hall next year. They will be joined by Lincoln teammate Desi Rodriguez and Bishop Loughlin's Khadeen Carrington.
Whitehead is the only player from Brooklyn named to the Jordan Brand Classic team. Chris McCullough, a Syracuse commit from the Bronx that plays at IMG Academy in Florida, is the only other New Yorker to make the team. The game will be played at the Barclays Center on April 18. Before that, Whitehead will play in the All-American game in Chicago's United Center on April 2.