August 10, 2010
In an era of cell phone cameras, YouTube clips and more cable sports networks than you could ever watch, it's virtually impossible for any significant athletic performance to go undocumented.
Amazingly enough, however, video proof of Corey Fisher's shooting barrage in a New York City summer league game on Saturday night still hasn't surfaced.
Word that the Villanova guard scored 105 points in a game at the Watson Basketball Classic first circulated via Twitter over the weekend. As the days passed without video evidence, confirmation from Fisher or even a reliable box score, the story has taken on an urban legend-like quality.
One report suggested Fisher scored 72 points in the second half. Another said he hit 23 of 28 3-pointers. There were even initially accounts that the man defending Fisher was Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon, though those appear to be false.
How much if any of the rest of the story is true remains shrouded in mystery because Fisher hasn't divulged much information on Twitter, and so far he hasn't returned a message left for him on his cell phone. As a result, here's what I can corroborate based on conversations or emails with Watson Basketball Classic director Lionel Saunders, eyewitness Kenneth Stevens and BangLee Takenouchi, captain of the team Fisher's squad defeated.
• Fisher did indeed score 105 points in his team's 138-130 victory at Watson Gleason Playground, a performance prompted by a fan who asked him to go after the league record of 63 points held by former Cincinnati star Kenny Satterfield.
• The opposing team was called GymRatsNYC, a group of semi-pro players who play in summer streetball tournaments in New York City. Takenouchi reports that one of his teammates also scored 60 points in the game.
• According to Stevens, Fisher had 56 points at halftime and about 76 after three quarters despite constant double and triple teams, so his teammates kept feeding him the ball every possession to see how high the Bronx native could go.
"He was determined to reach 100, but his arms from shooting threes were tired so he started going to the basket, weaving through defenders and creating 'one-and-one' situations," Stevens said. "It wasn't until the final few seconds of the game that he scored 100 points on a free throw. Then he had a steal, got fouled and hit a 3-pointer to end the game with no time on the clock."
It's staggering that any player could exceed 100 points even against what surely wasn't NBA-caliber defense, but Fisher's high school exploits show he's capable of explosive scoring nights.
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The former McDonald's All-American once dropped 37 points on O.J. Mayo and 35 on Brandon Jennings as a high schooler at St. Patrick's in New Jersey. Though he has been overshadowed at Villanova the past three years by All-American teammate Scottie Reynolds, the 6-foot-1 Fisher broke out somewhat to average 13.3 points per game last season.
You can call Fisher selfish for going for an individual accomplishment, question the level of competition he faced or celebrate his amazing scoring prowess, but here's one thing we can all agree on: It's a shame no video has surfaced so we can all judge Fisher's 105 points for ourselves.