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Holly MacKenzie

The Naismith Notes: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Makes His Case, As All-Star Voting Opens

TORONTO (Dec. 22, 2022) - On the eve of NBA All-Star voting, like so many other nights this season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was putting on a show. With 3.2 seconds remaining and the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder tied at 121 apiece, everyone in the arena knew where the ball was going. It still didn't matter. After inbounding the ball to Gilgeous-Alexander, the point guard used a gorgeous spin move to get enough space to free himself for a baseline jumper that sailed through the net as time expired. Game over, Thunder win.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The shot heard round the world 🪣 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) <a href="">December 20, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

“That’s a shot I work on pre-game,” Gilgeous-Alexander told Thunder reporter Nick Gallo in his walk-off interview. “[I] work on when I'm in the gym. I like that spot, I like that shot. It felt good.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Game winner <a href="">@royceyoung</a><a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Barrett Travis (@BarrettTravis11) <a href="">December 20, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

In a game that saw the Thunder come back from a double-digit deficit in the first quarter, things were close through the entire second half, with neither team pulling away.

“There was probably something like 20 lead changes, we were going back and forth for a long period of time,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We gave ourselves a chance defensively, all night. We stuck to it and we were able to come out on the good side of the game.”

The bucket capped a 35-point performance for Gilgeous-Alexander, who also finished with seven rebounds, five assists and a steal. The 24 year-old is averaging a career-best 31.3 points per game in his fifth NBA season. Monday’s game winner was his third go-ahead field goal in the final two seconds of the fourth quarter/overtime this season, tied for second most by any player in the last 25 seasons, per ESPN Stats and Info. Only Kobe Bryant had more, accomplishing the feat four times during the 2009-10 season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">With his game-winner Monday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander now has 3 go-ahead FG in the final 2 seconds of the 4th quarter/OT this season.<br><br>That&#39;s tied for the 2nd-most by any player in a season over the last 25 seasons. The only player with more was Kobe Bryant, with 4 in 2009-10. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; ESPN Stats &amp; Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) <a href="">December 20, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Gilgeous-Alexander has been incredible this season, solidifying his status as a superstar in the NBA.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">goodnight Thunder Twitter 😴 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) <a href="">December 20, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Keishana Washington dropped 42 points in an 86-82 Drexel Dragons overtime victory against Penn State on Sunday. Washington was red-hot from the floor, making 13-of-21 field goals and 15-of–18 free throws in 42 minutes of action. This huge performance comes after Washington scored 32 points in a blowout victory for the Dragons over Dartmouth, moving her to third place on Drexel’s all-time scoring list. As you watch Washington speak of her scoring prowess, peep the Canada flag featured prominently in the background.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“I was feeling hot, so I just let ‘em fly” - Keishana Washington<br><br>🔥🐲 🔥 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Drexel University (@DrexelUniv) <a href="">December 19, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Washington now leads D1 in scoring and is averaging 29.5 points per game.

Aaliyah Edwards tallied another new career-high for UConn. This time, the 20-year-old Huskies star scored 26 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists and a block in UConn’s 85-77 victory over Florida State University on Sunday. She was named Game MVP for her  efforts. Edwards is averaging 16.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks per game through 10 games in her junior season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Career-high 26 points<br>70.6 FG%<br>7 rebounds<br>Basketball HOF Women&#39;s Showcase MVP<br><br>Aaliyah Edwards is next level 😤 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) <a href="">December 19, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Kenny Chery was game MVP in a 97-83 Petkim Spor victory over Besiktas in Turkish Basketball Super League action on Sunday. Chery led the way in the win with a 29-point performance to snap a three-game losing streak and get the team back in the win column. Chery was all but unstoppable, making 10-of-12 field goal attempts, including 5-of-7 three-pointers and all four of his free-throw attempts while adding three rebounds and three steals in 38 minutes of play. As a result of his performance, Chery was named a top-five player of the week.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Kenny Chery of <a href="">@Petkimspor</a> had a career game and added his first MVP performance to his <a href="">@basketsuperligi</a> career yesterday.👇<br>➡️ <a href="">@KChery1</a> 🏅🇨🇦🐻<br>2⃣9⃣ points (10/12 FGs - 5/7 3pts - 4/4 FTs)<br>3⃣ rebounds<br>3⃣ assists<br>3⃣ steals <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Dave Murray (@BslPwrRankings) <a href="">December 19, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

In WNBA action, WNBA and Team Canada veteran Natalie Achonwa will serve another term as WNBPA’s Executive Committee treasurer. Prior to her position as treasurer, Achonwa served as the Player Rep for the Indiana Fever for four seasons. During her time with the Fever, Achonwa also received the 2019 Community Assist Award as well as the 2020 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award. Currently in her third season with the Minnesota Lynx, Achonwa most recently represented Canada at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia. Team Captain Achonwa helped lead Canada to a fourth-place finish in the event.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Introducing our new Executive Committee! <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BetOnWomen</a><a href=""></a></p>&mdash; WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) <a href="">December 12, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Sharp-shooter Aislinn Konig inked a new contract to play for Hozono Global Jairis in Spain. Konig comes to Spain after playing with Flammes Carolo Basket in France in the Ligue Feminine de Basketball. Like Achonwa, Konig represented Canada in the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗕 🏀 𝗢𝗙𝗜𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗟<br><br>🔝 <a href="">@acekonig</a> se une al proyecto deportivo de <a href="">@hozonoglobal</a> Jairis. Llega procedente de la liga francesa.<br><br>⚡ Más artillería para la línea exterior de nuestro equipo.<br><br>🌐 <a href=""></a><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WelcomeAislinn</a><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LFEndesa</a><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LaTemporadaDeNuestraVida</a><a href=""></a></p>&mdash; C.B. Jairis (@CBJairis) <a href="">December 19, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Moving our attention off-court for a moment, Dwight Powell and Dallas Mavericks teammates Josh Green and Kemba Walker provided some holiday cheer and unforgettable memories when they stopped by Children’s Heath, a children’s hospital in Dallas, and watched their newest friend show them how it’s done.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A shot we’ll remember forever.<br><br>Dwight, Josh and Kemba stopped by hospital rooms at <a href="">@childrens</a> and brought the biggest smiles to the patients’ faces. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MFFL</a> | <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThisIsWhyWePlay</a><a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) <a href="">December 15, 2022</a></blockquote><script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>