basketball Edit

OSL Wins Grind Session World Championship

Playing a strength of schedule which constantly gauges their grit against national level High School programs, Our Savior Lutheran possessed the battle tested pieces and wealth of big game experience to make a statement this season.

The Bronx-based independent school delivered this statement Wednesday, winning a Grind Session World Championship with a wild 77-75 victory over West Oaks Academy (FL).

At a more svelte 265 pounds, 7-foot behemoth Silas Sunday scored a game-best 26 points to go with 13 rebounds and three assists. Moving fluidly and developing a commanding back to the rim presence, Sunday has seized the offensive role the program envisioned for him when arrived during the 2018-19 season.

A national championship was a fitting way to cap Sunday's career. He has shed both pounds and the label of raw, putting a skill set behind the imposing presence he arrived at the doorstep with as a quiet and unassuming freshman.

A then-raw but hulking widebody, both Sunday and Seton Hall-commit Jaquan Sanders were freshmen on that 2019 OSL team, which was led by current Oregon State guard and Bronx native DaShawn Davis.

The intriguing subplot of the game was the matchup in the backcourt. OSL was tasked with containing Harlem native Maurice Odum, a deadeye shooter who has compiled multiple games of 30+ points, including a 30-point showing (on the strength of 7-of-12 from beyond the arc) during an 84-60 quarterfinal trouncing of Veritas Prep (CA).

Odum scored 33 points, albeit OSL's interior game was an overwhelming factor. Beyond Sunday, who has offers from St. John's, Kansas State, Nebraska, UMass, Bryant, and others, OSL was bolstered by Iona commit Sadiku Ayo.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Ayo scored 14 points to go with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Similar to his performance during Slam Dunk to the Beach in Delaware, Ayo showed his ability to score it prolifically and all three levels while turning in displays of athleticism only rarefied athletes are capable of.

Ayo culminated the national championship season by garnering Grind Session Most Improved Player honors.

The one guy who gets overlooked and should soon be equated with the same buzz and high expectations as combination guard Armoni Zeigler. The Class of 2023 combo guard is a crafty finisher with high rising athleticism. He's helped catalyze Peter Wehye's program defensively this season, with multiple games of five steals or more.