Seniors compete as Johnnies one last time

Red Storm seniors Dwight Hardy and Justin Burrell competed in St. John’s uniforms one last time.

Hardy and Burrell were in Houston, the home of this year’s Final Four, representing St. John’s in the State Farm 3-Point and Slam Dunk contests, respectively, on Thursday, March 31.

In leading the Johnnies in scoring this year (18.3 points per game), Hardy displayed his range hitting two threes a game while shooting over 35 percent from behind the arc.

“Hopefully those guys will miss more than I will,” joked Hardy on Stormtracker All-Access on redstormsports.com.

Unfortunately for Hardy that was not the case.  Scoring only ten points in the opening round, Hardy was not able to advance to the 3-point semifinals.  The contest was won by Andrew Goudelock of the College of Charleston.

But that does not signify the end for Wooden Award finalist Hardy.  He  also took the court in the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Reese’s All-Star game on Friday, April 1. Hardy suited up for the East team against the West in a game that pitted the top seniors from around the country against each other in Houston as part of the week’s Final Four festivities.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to play with some if the best seniors in the nation,” Hardy told All-Access.

In addition to participating in these events Hardy, the three-time Big East player of the week, conference’s most improved player and all-conference first teamer, needs to make room on his mantle for one more prestigious award. Hardy was named an honorable mention All-American; the first St. John’s player named to the team since Erick Barkley in 2000.

In the college slam-dunk championships, Burrell had the chance to display the dunking prowess he often displayed in pre-game warm-ups. A powerful dunker, the 6’ 8” Big East sixth man of the year was unable to advance past the first round, missing a between the legs reverse dunk on his second first round try that would have most likely advanced him.  The slam-dunk championship was taken by Division II dunker Jacob Tucker of Illinois College.  Tucker was voted into the championships by a fan vote on Facebook after he uploaded a video of some impressive dunks belying his 5’11" stature.

Also, on Sunday, April 3,  four St. John’s incoming freshman, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Maurice Harkless, JaKarr Sampson and D’Angelo Harrison, competed in the All-American Championships, a double-header between some of the best high school talent from around the country.

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