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Desmond Wade named 1st Team All-State and Union County Player of the Year BY MIKE KINNEY For the Star-Ledger

Posted Sunday, March 30, 2008 by BY MIKE KINNEY For the Star-Ledger

Linden's Wade simply a Special Player

Sunday, March 30, 2008
For the Star-Ledger

Player of the year: Someone new will replace Desmond Wade as the county's Player of the Year next season, because that is just the pattern of things. But Linden coach Phil Colicchio says it will be a long, long time, if ever, before another Linden guard does the kind of things Wade did to earn this distinction.

"I don't think we're going to see the likes of a kid like Desmond in a long time in this state. He's just a special, special kid," Colicchio said. "He has the ability to score, the ability to make other people better and the ability to shut people down."

All of his ability guided Linden to two consecutive Group 4 titles, in 2006 and '07, an appearance in the Tournament of Champions final in '06, and a Union County Tournament crown as a junior in '07. Linden has gone 104-20 in his four seasons.

This season, the 5-9 dynamo averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists, and he finished his career with 1,535 points.

Strangely, all his individual credentials and all that winning failed to earn Wade a single Division 1 scholarship offer along the East Coast. He accepted an offer from Houston.

Desmond Wade of Linden collected 35 points, seven rebounds and five assists Feb. 27 in a 70-53 victory over J.P. Stevens of Edison in the quarterfinals of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4.

Desmond Wade dropped in a 3-point play in the closing seconds of overtime to boost Linden past No. 19 Neptune, 59-57, on Jan. 19.

All-defense:Desmond Wade, Linden; Jermel Jenkins, St. Patrick; Reggie Solomon, Scotch Plains; Gabriel Garcia, St. Mary's; Andrew Ciencin, Cranford; Raymond Graham, Elizabeth; Anthony Baskerville, Plainfield; Billy Sues, Brearley; David Jackson, Union; Billy Beck, New Providence; Ronnie Sawyer, Rahway; Jerelle Louis, Linden; Dominic Vitale, Brearley; Kendall James, Roselle; Dexter Strickland, St. Patrick; Tony LaRocca, Union Catholic.

All-junior team:Junior of the year: Dexter Strickland, St. Patrick guard.

First: Strickland; David Bruce, Linden; Anthony Baskerville, Plainfield; Jose Pena-Benjamin, Rahway; Paris Bennett, St. Patrick.

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