The Westchester Knicks came up in the clutch on Wednesday afternoon, performing well and impressing during New York Knicks President Phil Jackson's first visit to the County Center.
In the only game of action over the course of hump-day, Westchester propelled past the Erie BayHawks for the second time this season, emerging victorious 100-94.
Plenty of prospects came to play, with Thanasis Antetokounmpo scoring 17 points and grabbing 8 boards, Orlando Sanchez logging 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Langston Galloway leading his team with 22 points.
As fate would have it, however, it was a fourth player who ultimately gave Westchester a leg up on the competition.
Ben Strong started at center for the Knicks, and went on to take Erie big man Daniel Coursey and co. to task. Strong had his way with the opposing defense, getting inside with ease and pouring in easy buckets, while also asserting himself physically and getting to the free throw line. He shot 6 of 8 from the field, and converted 7 of 10 shots from the charity stripe, on his way to pouring in 19 points. Fighting for second-chance opportunities as he helped keep the Knicks afloat as Erie attempted to claw their way back, the 28 year old crashed the offensive glass for 4 offensive rebounds, and 10 overall.
Strong has undoubtedly been around the D-League block a few times. The Knicks are now his fourth minor league team, dating back to the 2011-12 season. At 6'11" and 220 pounds, Strong may not have the preferred build of an NBA center. Some may have even called him "soft" over the last couple of seasons. But fortunately for Westchester, he looked anything but soft on Wednesday.
For his latest effort, Strong earns himself RidiculousUpside.com's "Performer of the Night" award.
Already having his best NBADL season to date, the big man is averaging 9.7 points and 7.3 rebounds through seven games.