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Ultimate Embarrassment: High school basketball players talk killer crossovers

The No. 1 rule for anyone who gets burned by a crossover dribble is to stay on your feet. / USA TODAY Sports

Josh Newkirk is quick to point out that he dishes out more of these highlights than he takes, then adds that “if you play basketball long enough, it’s definitely gonna happen to you.”

Coming up on the short end of a killer crossover dribble isn’t just embarrassing, according to Newkirk, it’s the worst type of embarrassment.

“You go the total opposite way than the man that you’re supposed to be guarding,” said Newkirk, a point guard at Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.). “Sometimes you stumble and sometimes you could even fall, and there’s no coming back from that.”

Is it the most embarrassing on-court scenario?

“Of course,” Newkirk said. “Getting crossed-up is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to you. It’s something that the crowd won’t leave you alone about either.”

Rule No. 1 when being the victim of an “ankle-breaking” crossover?

Stay on your feet.

“Don’t you dare fall!” said Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) guard Isaiah Lewis. “That’s a no-no. Whatever you do, stay up. That’s the most important thing. You can’t come back from a fall.”

We caught up with different players around the country, who agreed with Newkirk and Lewis, and had them chime in and give tips on the best ways to play-off the ultimate embarrassment.

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Zach Hodskins, Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.), SG, 2014

Committed to: Undecided

The Initial Reaction: “It’s pretty bad, especially because your momentum is going so hard that your ankles actually buckle when you get crossed up really good. Then you hear the crowd laugh and you just want it to be over. That’s so embarrassing.” 

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The Play-off: “I think the best thing you can do is just to pretend like your shoes were untied. That’s my go-to when I get crossed up. I kneel down and check my shoes. I think it takes a little of the embarrassment away. At least that’s what I tell myself.” 

Josh Newkirk, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), PG, 2013

Signed to: Pittsburgh

The Initial Reaction: “Well, first I look to see if anybody saw it. Usually you already know that they did, but I look anyway. Then I start sweating a little more because I’m so embarrassed. I just try and shake it off, but that’s not happening either.”  

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The Play-off: “I somehow blame it on my teammate. I don’t even know what I say; I just say anything like maybe they didn’t rotate over or something. You’ve got to say whatever to get the attention off of you.”  

Isaiah Lewis, Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.), SG, 2013

Committed to: Undecided

The Initial Reaction: “Oh man it’s the worst feeling in the world. It’s like you got the wind knocked out of you for real. I can’t even tell you.”

The Play-off: “I’m not sure that you can play that off man. I guess the best thing is to try and act like there’s a wet spot on the floor. That could work.”  

Jazz Felton, Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.), SG, 2013

Commited to: Undecided

The Initial Reaction: “Yeah I don’t even know where to start. My stomach is in knots and I usually just shake my head. I already know that the crowd is about to clown me. You just hear ‘oooh!’ You know that you’re gonna get clowned the next day, win or lose.”  

The Play-off: “What I do is just smile and try to laugh it off. I try to downplay it because there’s no need to pretend it didn’t happen. You’ve kinda got to acknowledge it because it’s so embarrassing, but I’d just laugh with the crowd.”  

Stephen Clark, Douglas (Oklahoma City, Okla.), PG, 2013

Signed to: Oklahoma State

The Initial Reaction: “I’m actually pretty mad to be honest. That kind of stuff affects my offensive game because I get so mad that I got crossed up. I try and shake it off, but it’s hard.”   

The Play-off: “I just try and go back at them even harder when I get the ball back. I feel like I’ve got to even things up so I try and cross them up.”  

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.



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