Marcus Hammond: Comeback Season

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The southpaw guard looking to make a statement in his senior season

Marcus Hammond, much like everyone else on his team, heard the chatter from around the basketball circles. Cardozo high school has long been a powerhouse in Queens and New York City as a whole for its dominance on the basketball court but this season, the young team struggled to make any noise. “Team wise we should’ve did way better,” Hammond says. “We didn’t do good but as a team we learned a lot also.” The team finished with seven losses in the PSAL, a league in which Cardozo often goes undefeated.

While others murmured that Cardozo had fallen off though, Hammond had just one thing on his mind: Redemption. The wiry Queens point guard has one more year of eligibility at the famed high school, and he plans to make it count.

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Marcus and his teammate Collins Onyeike. Photo courtesy of KITH.

“We didn’t do good but as a team we learned a lot also.”

Marcus was patient in his rise to the starting point guard at Cardozo High. While some players jump ship and transfer when things don’t go according to plan, Hammond put in two years of work on the JV, honing his skills in preparation for his moment. By the time he was finally ready for varsity, he was known throughout Queens for his smooth handles and buttery left handed jump shot.

The opportunity to lead the varsity as a junior was Hammond’s for the taking, and as one of the teams leaders, he’s been his own toughest critic. “For me it wasn’t a good season,” He says. “I didn’t live up to my expectations, didn’t lead the team the way I should and I didn’t have a impact on the court every single game like I should have.” Hammond still managed to average 11 points and 5 assist a game and improve as the season progressed. In the playoffs, he went on to average 15 points including the 22 that he dropped on regular season divisional champs, Queens High School of Teaching. If that is any indication for the future, expect for Marcus and the Judges to be back strong next year.

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“I’m just going to be in the gym 24/7 getting stronger and better on the court”

In preparation for his senior campaign, Hammond has hit the gym hard to improve on his weaknesses such as his defense and creating his own shot. “I’m just going to be in the gym 24/7 getting stronger and better on the court,” He says. He has high hopes for next year including a borough, city and state championship, as well as himself and his teammates getting college offers. As far as long term, Hammond doesn’t see any reason why he can’t take his game to the next level. “I want to get to college first and if I’m blessed to make it to the NBA then that will be great,” He says. Before he graduates Cardozo though, Hammond will be working hard to bring the program back to prominence, and prove the haters wrong.

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