Booth cleans up in classic

April 05, 1993|By Ron Higgins | Ron Higgins,Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, TENN — MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Keith Booth said he had no aspirations about winning the Most Valuable Player award at the 16th annual McDonald's All American Basketball Game yesterday. And he didn't win it.

But Booth, a star from Baltimore's Dunbar High who recently committed orally to the University of Maryland, did all the dirty work -- 15 points and seven rebounds -- that was required for the East to record a 105-95 victory over the West.

"In all-star games, different guys want to come out and take their shots," said Booth, who was 5-for-12 from the field and 5-for-10 from the free-throw line. "I just wanted to come out and play a Keith Booth game."

Booth showed tough board play -- he had five offensive rebounds -- as well as solid defense and a penchant for posting up on the block.

Although Booth wasn't named as a starter, he was on the floor when the East overtook the West with a strong finishing kick.

"Some of the kids on our second unit -- Keith in particular -- really bailed us out," said East coach Julius Prezelski, Pennsylvania's all-time winningest coach who closed out his 41-year career with this game. "He really helped us control the boards."

Booth, as well as teammates Dontonio Wingfield, Jason Osborne and Rasheed Wallace, led the East's 73-53 rebounding advantage.

The East was hurt by the loss of Wallace when he fouled out with 4:19 left and the East nursing an 89-84 lead.

"We had a lot of guys on our team who wanted to play outside, so I decided I'd play inside and grab a whole bunch of rebounds," Booth said. "Without Rasheed, I thought I'd have to help fill his role."

Booth was involved in one of the game's more memorable midair meetings when he was fouled by trying to dunk over 6-foot-10 West center Avondre Jones. Jones blocked Booth's dunk, fouled him with the body and then shook his head at Booth to let him know he would not be dunked on.

"I jumped right back up and told him I'd be back in there," Booth said. "And I was. I got a couple of tap-ins and got my offense going."

North Carolina signee Jerry Stackhouse of the East and Kansas signee Jacque Vaughn of the West were named co-MVPs.

Stackhouse, a 6-7 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, had 27 points. Vaughn, a 6-0 point guard from John Muir High in Pasadena, Calif., set a McDonald's record with 13 assists.

Point guard Jeff McInnis (North Carolina) had nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists and forward Joey Beard (Duke) had eight points and seven rebounds.

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