Former PHS Star Blue Displaying Scoring Prowess As LoyalTees Aims for 3rd Summer Hoops Crown
BLUE STREAK: Zahrion Blue puts up a shot for LoyalTees last week in Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League action. Former Princeton High star and current Lincoln University standout Blue has helped two-time defending summer hoops champion LoyalTees get off to a 3-0 start in the 2021 campaign. He tallied 35 points in a 69-64 win over Majeski Foundation last Wednesday and then chipped in 17 as LoyalTees edged SpeedPro 64-61 in overtime last Friday and is now the only undefeated team in the league. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Zahrion Blue developed quite a comfort level playing in the Princeton High gym from 2015-18.
Starring for the PHS boys’ basketball team, guard/forward Blue tallied more than 1,000 points in his Tiger career, establishing himself as one of the most dynamic scorers in program history.
So when the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League moved its games from the Community Park courts into the PHS gym due to inclement weather last Wednesday evening, Blue was more than happy to be inside playing for LoyalTees against Majeski Foundation.
“It is my home court,” said Blue, who has gone on to star at Lincoln University. “I scored a thousand in here so I have been doing this three years.”
Displaying his scoring prowess, Blue poured in 15 points as LoyalTees forged ahead 31-28 at halftime.
In the second half, the game turned into a duel between Blue and Majeski’s Anthony DiCaro, who drained five 3-pointers over the last 20 minutes of the contest on the way to a 28-point performance. In the end, though, Blue got the best of the shootout, tallying 35 points as LoyalTees prevailed 69-64.
“I give props to No. 5, he was doing his thing,” said Blue. “I am No. 5 too so I had to get the last laugh in the battle of the fives.”
There have been a lot of smiles over the last few years for LoyalTees as it won league titles in 2018 and 2019 before the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic.
“We are looking for a 3-peat and just getting some runs,” said Blue, who scored 17 points two days later as LoyalTees edged SpeedPro 64-61 in overtime last Friday to improve to 3-0 and are now the only undefeated team in the league.
“Some of the guys are getting old and I am young. They look to me to keep us going and keep running.”
In reflecting on the squad’s success, Blue pointed to balance and unselfishness as keys.
“We have been playing together three or four years in the summer, we know each other’s games and we let each other go,” said Blue.
“We don’t cry about bad shots. If someone is hot, we feed them. Vince [Anfield] got hot tonight. I got hot, they kept feeding me. Nick [Davidson] is a very good stretch big, as a defender he can do guard things. It is a team game.”
Looking ahead to this winter, Blue believes that competing for LoyalTees this summer will help him make a big impact for the Lincoln team this winter. Blue has averaged 12.4 points and 6.5 rebounds a game for the Division II program with 743 points through two full seasons plus three games this past winter in an abbreviated campaign.
“It is a big year for me, I take this very seriously so I can get ready for the season,” said the 6’4, 200-pound Blue, who will be a junior this season.
“They have us on a strength and conditioning routine every day in the summer. Shooting is my biggest area of progress. In high school, I was already a slasher so I had to develop a jump shot.”
In the meantime, LoyalTees will taking things seriously as it pursues a third straight summer hoops crown.
“We just can’t take anyone lightly,” said Blue. “We have to play every game like it is our last.”