Dwayne (Tiny) Morton has a unique relationship with his talented freshman Isaiah Whitehead that goes beyond basketball. The Lincoln coach was the underclassman’s math teacher in middle school and knows what makes him tick.
At halftime of Whitehead’s first big test, Morton used that knowledge.
“I really got into Whitehead; he was acting like a freshman,” the coach said. “I said some words I can’t repeat.”
The words worked as the precocious freshman shook off his early struggles and erupted for 13 of his 17 points after halftime to help lead Lincoln to a dominant 76-55 victory over Brooklyn AA rival Thomas Jefferson in Coney Island yesterday.
“He’s the next one to hold the torch,” said Lincoln senior guard Shaquille Stokes, who scored 22 points himself to lead the Railsplitters.
Considered the best freshman in New York City, Whitehead is indeed the heir to the throne at Lincoln previously held by Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson. The chiseled 6-foot-3 guard showed flashes of future brilliance by hitting medium-range jump shots, getting to the rim with ease and setting up teammates for easy shots.
In the momentum-turning 13-2 run to start the third quarter, Whitehead capped the spurt with an offensive rebound over taller defenders and baby jumper and later found forward Kamari Murphy (16 points) for an uncontested dunk, making the extra pass in transition.