- Last Updated: 5:00 AM, February 12, 2012
- Posted: 2:13 AM, February 9, 2012
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
On Friday night, Omar Calhoun was booed. On Saturday, he was maligned by the opposing coach.
But guess who had the last laugh this weekend?
The Christ the King senior guard poured in 33 points against St. Raymond on Friday and had 29 more points Saturday against Cardinal Hayes. To top off an absolutely ridiculous three-game stretch, the UConn-bound superstar dropped 36 points on St. Francis Prep on Tuesday.
Though criticized mercilessly on Twitter and Facebook less than a month ago, there’s little doubt who the top candidate for The Post’s All-City Player of the Year honors is after the last few days.
“The guy’s been putting up 30-plus points every game,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said Friday night. “It’s not even that. It’s the key rebounds, it’s the deflections, the steals. It’s all the stuff that a senior is supposed to do.”
Calhoun won’t hear his name called Thursday by the McDonald’s All-American committee. But he does have a chance to become something no other Christ the King boys basketball player ever has: New York State’s Mr. Basketball.
It’s hard to believe Calhoun wouldn’t be the top candidate for the state’s top individual honor after leading the Royals to two straight CHSAA Class AA city titles and a state Federation title as a sophomore. If CK wins the city title again this year, it’ll be the first team to three-peat since Tolentine from 1980 to 1982.
“I don’t think anything rattles Omar,” Christ the King sophomore big man Adonis Delarosa said. “Omar is a great player.”
Calhoun has battled through undue adversity this year. He is routinely booed on the road. Friday was the best example with St. Ray’s fans changing “overrated” whenever he touched the ball. Ravens coach Oliver Antigua joked afterward that he should have told them to shut up. Calhoun did it with his play.
“Growing up, I watched a lot of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, guys like that and just seeing how the crowd tries to talk trash toward them and they just embrace it,” Calhoun said. “That’s what I did. All those overrated chants just hype me up and keep me motivated. They kept saying it and I kept scoring. They can keep doing it all they want.”
On Saturday, Calhoun’s uncontested layup at the buzzer of a blowout win over Cardinal Hayes drew the ire of Hayes coach Joe Lods. He was more upset with his how his team reacted to it – by doing nothing – than the actual act, saying that the Cardinals “should have made it a football game” and tackled Calhoun. Hayes big man Amadou Sidibe said that Calhoun did was “[messed] up,” using a slightly more colorful word.
Arbitello had no problem with the play. Hayes players, he contended, were still trying to come up with a steal or foul earlier on in the possession. They were still playing, Arbitello said, so why can’t his team continue to play?
Calhoun didn’t get a chance to explain himself Saturday, leaving the Christ the King gym before speaking to reporters. It’s clear the distractions have not entered his mind, though.
“He’s an animal,” Arbitello said. “If he’s not the best player in the city, who is? C’mon.”Follow @NYPostsports