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Cameron Smith

NYC freshman earns NBA comparisons with amazing assist

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

We don't feature basketball assists here with their own post every day, but then again, Isaiah Whitehead is not just an everyday player. He happens to be one of the nation's top freshmen prospects at one of New York City's legendary programs.

Whitehead is the latest in a long run of Abraham Lincoln (N.Y.) High superstar guards, following in the footsteps of NBA guards Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson. As his miraculous pass below demonstrates, Whitehead possesses many of the same sublime talents that helped that earlier trio stand out.

Quite frankly, we've never quite seen a move like that. Whitehead essentially pulls off a pinpoint-perfect pass as he rotates out of a 360-degree turn, with the ball landing directly in the hands of a teammate en route to an easy layup. It's not as if the move was made to showboat, either; Whitehead began his spin to avoid a defender, then somehow connected with his teammate by using peripheral vision that makes one wonder if he has eyes in the back of his head.

Whitehead's profound comfort with the basketball is nothing new, according to those who have watched him mature on Coney Island. According to the New York Post, he was first spotted by his Lincoln coach Dwayne Morton while in seventh grade, where he impressed Morton not by scoring but by setting up his teammates.

In fact, unlike his Lincoln star predecessors, Whitehead is much more comfortable setting up his teammates for easy buckets than he is finishing off those drives himself. At least one talent evaluator has said he is much more raw than any of the royal NBA triumvirate to which he is most often compared, but he's also allegedly quicker. At the tender age of 15, his game is sure to evolve rapidly in coming years as well.

Yet he doesn't need any more time to start cranking out top-drawer highlights, as that pass proved. With any luck, we'll see plenty more like it in the not-too-distant future as a young star continues to find his way to Coney Island glory.

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