IT WOULD be difficult to have a more impressive and accomplished senior season than Archbishop Wood's Collin Gillespie had during the 2016-2017 campaign.
All the 6-2 point guard did was secure a scholarship to defending national champion Villanova, lead the Vikings (28-3) to the school's first Catholic League boys' basketball championship and then cap the season with the school's first boys' PIAA basketball title.
That is why Gillespie, our Player of the Year, is the star of stars as we present the 2017 Daily News All-City Team.
Early in his senior season, Gillespie had offers from Division I schools such as Maine, Albany and Fairleigh Dickinson, with Division IIs Philadelphia University and Holy Family also in the mix.
By January, however, it was clear Gillespie's game had evolved, and Villanova came calling.
By season's end, Gillespie led the PCL in scoring at 24.1 points per game. He also led the Vikings, who won their first PCL title in 51 years of competition, in almost every statistical category. In addition to scoring, he also led the team in field goal percentage (51 percent), assists (5.2), rebounds (5.7) and steals (2.0).
Gillespie also scored a career-high 42 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists in a highly-anticipated matchup against Neumann-Goretti, an 82-73 Wood victory before a capacity crowd at Archbishop Ryan.
For his career, Gillespie finished with 1,133 points. In the Catholic League semifinals at the Palestra, he scored 33 points and added 10 rebounds. In the finale, Gillespie scored a game-high 24 points, helping the Vikings overcome a 13-point halftime deficit, the largest halftime deficit conquered in PCL history, according to TedSilary.com.
The other first-teamers (seniors, unless noted):
Quade Green, Neumann-Goretti:
A three-time All-City selection (twice first team, second team), Green became Philadelphia's first McDonald's All-American selection since Maalik Wayns (Roman Catholic, 2009). Green was also an All-USA boys' basketball third-team selection. The Kentucky commit also won MVP of the Hoop Hall Classic in January and won a gold medal with the USA U18 Team last summer. He also capped his senior season by leading the Saints (24-7) to a fourth consecutive PIAA Class 3A title. The 6-foot point guard probably has the most offensively sophisticated game in the city. He has the footwork of players several years his senior and the ability to score from behind the three-point line, in the midrange and at the basket. He also became a leader, morphing into a dangerous point guard after playing shooting guard most of his career. As a senior, Green finished second in the PCL in scoring (22.8). He also led the Saints in assists (7.9) and steals (2.1). For his career, Green led the Saints to 107-17 record and scored 1,853 points. He also shot 43 percent from behind the three-point line and 86 percent from the foul line. Green has also twice been named to the PIAA All-State team (as of this publication, the most recent All-State team has not been released). Green was also a key reserve as a freshman on the Saints' 2013-2014 PCL championship team, the school's sixth consecutive title. Green was also named to the 20th annual Nike Hoop Summit squad with the best players from around the country.
Daron Russell, Imhotep
As accomplished a player as the Pub has seen in the last four seasons, Russell ended his career with a dominant Panthers squad that captured a Public League title, PIAA Class 4A title and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation, according to USA Today. The 5-11 point guard led the Panthers (31-2) in scoring (18.0), assists (5.0) and steals (3.0). Russell is an explosive scorer with the ability to finish above the rim and hurt defenses from behind the arc. For his career, Russell, Imhotep's all-time leader in points, assists and steals, finished with 1,813 points and was thrice named to the All-City team (two-time first team, second team). The Rhode Island commit also led the Panthers to two Pub titles (twice named MVP) and has twice been named to the All-State team. In the team's PIAA finale, Russell scored 18 of his team-high 23 points in the first half.
Izaiah Brockington, Archbishop Ryan
Few players in the city shouldered more of an offensive and defensive load than Brockington, a 6-4 lefty who led the Raiders to the Catholic League semifinals and the PIAA Class 6A semifinals. The New Jersey Institute of Technology commit, who consistently guarded opponents' best offensive players, also led the Raiders (23-6) in scoring (18.7 overall), assists (3.1) and steals (2.1). He also shot 45 percent from the field and 68 percent from the foul line. In a PCL semifinal loss to eventual champion Archbishop Wood, Brockington scored 31 points before fouling out with about three minutes left. In the PIAA semifinals against eventual champion Lonnie Walker and Reading, Brockington scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half. In PCL play, he finished sixth overall in scoring (17.9 points). For his career, Brockington finished with 1,242 points. He also twice led the Raiders to the semifinals at the Palestra after Ryan hadn't made it since 2008.
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Neumann-Goretti
Few players in the last four years have come as far as Cosby-Roundtree, who has blossomed into a Villanova commit and one of the city's best big-men. The 6-8 forward led the Saints (24-7) in rebounds (11.5), blocks (3.5) and field goal percentage (76 percent; 214 of 280 overall). He also finished second on the team in scoring overall (15.9) and, in PCL play, finished ninth in scoring (15.7). The long-armed leader can score with either hand down low and runs the floor with aplomb. For his career, Cosby-Roundtree, who didn't start playing organized basketball until the summer of his eighth-grade season, finished with 1,254 points, 1,019 rebounds and 361 blocked shots. He also helped the Saints clinch a fourth consecutive PIAA Class 3A championship. He was also a member of the Saints 2013-2014 PCL championship team, the school's sixth consecutive title.
Daily News 2017 All-City Teams
Coach of the year: John Mosco, Archbishop Wood
Player of the Year: Collin Gillespie, Archbishop Wood
Name, School, Height, Position, Year
Collin Gillespie, Archbishop Wood, 6-2, G, Sr.
Quade Green Neumann-Goretti, 6-0, G, Sr.
Daron Russell Imhotep, 5-11, G, Sr.
Izaiah Brockington Archbishop Ryan, 6-4, G, Sr.
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree Neumann-Goretti, 6-8, F, Sr.
Kyle McCloskey Germantown Academy, 6-5, F, Sr.
Dave Beatty Imhotep, 6-3, G, Sr.
Marc Rodriguez Father Judge, 6-2, G, Sr.
Evan-Eric Longino Germantown Academy, 6-5, G/F, Sr.
Donta Scott Imhotep, 6-7, F, So.
Tyree Pickron Archbishop Wood, 6-3, G, Jr.
Antwuan Butler Del-Val, 6-0, G, Jr.
Malik Archer Math, Civics and Sciences, 6-4, G, Sr.
Conner Delaney Episcopal Academy, 6-0, G, Sr.
Matiss Kulackovskis Archbishop Ryan, 6-7, F, Sr.
Daeqwon Plowden Mastery North, 6-5, F, Sr.
Mahki Morris Del-Val, 6-2, G, Sr.
(Seniors, Unless Noted)
Nisheem McNeal-Wright, Audenried; Tamir Green, Constitution; Kyle Thompson, St. Joseph's Prep, Jr.; Allen Betrand, Roman Catholic , Jr.; Maurice Waters, Constitution; Nick Alikakos, Episcopal Academy.