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Tonight: Red Storm Tip-Off kicks off hoops season in earnest

Which recruits will come to see the festivities and alumni game?

Wendell Cruz

At 7:00 PM tonight, St. John’s hosts Red Storm Tip-Off... and it will be streamed on Facebook Live, if you are trying to follow from home.

(Doors open at 6:30 and tickets are available starting at 4:00 pm tonight if you are going in person.)

Tip-Off, the annual introduction to the year’s basketball teams, should include a scrimmage with the men’s and women’s squads, and will also include an alumni game with a number of players from the 90s and 2000s men’s squads and a few from the women’s side. According to, Chris Mullin will play as well.

It will be a great chance to see newcomers Justin Simon and Marvin Clark Jr. on the floor for the first time, along with the usual gawking for added muscle on players like Marcus LoVett, Shamorie Ponds and Kassoum Yakwe (Bashir Ahmed has as much muscle as he needs, by the looks of things).

Of bigger note are the list of high school players coming out to see rapper Dave East and check out campus. Center Kofi Cockburn of Christ the King is coming, though he is not likely to commit to the program; Team Rio’s Jalen Gaffney, who some feel is high on St. John’s, will be there as well.

Jordan Brown, a five-star center from California, is slated to be on campus; he is waiting to commit until the spring and is also looking at schools closer to his California home - UCLA, Cal, Gonzaga, Oregon and Nevada.

The rest of the list:

Jalen Gaffney we have mentioned in this space; he is a 6’1” point guard in the 2019 class with some talent. He recently received an offer from Florida. He plays for the Westtown School and plays summer ball with Team Rio.

Dwight Davis is a 2019 point guard from Brooklyn who plays for Team Rio’s 16 & Under squad; he plays winter ball and goes to school at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, as Shamorie Ponds did.

Cartier Bowman is a 2019 forward on Team Rio as well; he plays for Notre Dame High in New Jersey.

Noah Farrakhan is a 6’1” guard in the class of 2020 who plays with the NJ Playaz and St. Benedict’s Prep.

Nate Tabor is a 2020 forward from Our Savior New American with offers from Auburn, TCU, St. John’s, Texas Tech and Connecticut. he plays summer ball with the NY Rens.

Zed Key is 2020 forward from Brentwood, Long Island; he has offers from Cincinnati, Iona, Stony Brook and U Mass already.

Expect no commitments tonight. But these tip-off events are a chance to showcase the excitement around the team, and to show the future recruits a good time.