On Capital Classic, James in game

Jordan's influence sparks Ohio star's commitment

Boys basketball

March 05, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The rosters were released yesterday for the Jordan Capital Classic High School All-Star basketball game - held April 17 at the MCI Center - and there was one name everyone seemed to fixate on.

That's nothing new when you're talking about LeBron James.

The prep phenom for the USA Today's top-ranked high school basketball team, St. Vincent-St. Mary's (Akron, Ohio), James accepted an invitation to play in the game, citing as motivation his relationship with Michael Jordan, whose division at Nike Inc. sponsors the tournament, and the opportunity to play with his peers.

High school players are allowed to play in no more than two postseason all-star games to retain NCAA eligibility. James, a 6-foot-8 forward, is expected to jump right to the NBA.

James also reportedly has committed to play in the McDonald's All-American all-star game on March 26 in Cleveland and the Roundball Classic on March 31 in Chicago.

"I am honored to be selected," said James, speaking via a conference call to a group of reporters gathered at the ESPN Zone. "Michael Jordan is my hero. There is no other game that I would rather play in than this one."

James will play in the national contest, which will follow the 6 p.m. regional game, featuring the area's top 20 high school seniors and other recruits from the region's top colleges.

Maryland is well represented in the regional game: Annapolis point guard Laronja Owens and 7-foot Archbishop Spalding center Will Bowers, headed to the University of Maryland, will be on the same team.

Bowers will play with future Terps teammate D.J. Strawberry, a guard out of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif.

Other top Division I prospects lined up to play include Maryland recruit Ekene Ibekwe (Carson City, Calif.); Duke recruit Luoi Deng (Blair Academy, N.J.); and Arizona-bound Ndudi Ebi (Westbury Christian, Houston).

It's the star power of James, who has received unprecedented media coverage, that has many predicting that the Capital Classic will sell out the 20,000-capacity MCI Center.

Last year's game attracted just under 7,500, and the classic hasn't been a sellout since 1981.

Tickets, ranging from $17.50 to $30, are on sale now through Ticketmaster and at the MCI Center box office.

Rosters

(with college player has committed to)

National game

SILVER TEAM (coach TBA) - Chris Paul, West Forsyth (N.C.), Wake Forest; Taurean Minor, Booker T. Washington (Texas), LSU; Shannon Brown, Proviso East (Ill.), Michigan State; Dion Harris, Redford (Mich.), Michigan; J.R. Giddens, John Marshall (Okla.), Kansas; Luoi Deng, Blair Academy (N.J.), Duke; Ndudi Ebi, Westbury Christian (Texas), Arizona; Ekene Ibekwe, Carson (Calif.), Maryland; Courtney Sims, Noble & Greenough (Mass.), Michigan; Drew Naymick, North Muskegon (Mich.). BLACK TEAM (coach TBA) - Andrew Lavender, Brookhaven (Ohio), Oklahoma; Gary Ervin, Notre Dame Academy (Mass.), Mississippi State; Rodrick Stewart, Rainer Beach (Wash.), Southern California; Brandon Cotton, St. Martin DePorres (Mich.), Michigan State; LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary's (Ohio), undecided; Vakeaton Wafer, Heritage Christian (Texas), Florida State; Kris Humphries, Hopkins (Minn.), Duke; Brandon Foust, Brookhaven (Ohio), Oklahoma; Shagaro Alleyne, Rice (N.Y.), Rutgers; Linas Kleiza, Montrose Christian, undecided.

Regional game

WHITE TEAM (coached by Keith Jackson, Spingarn, D.C.) - Lorenzo Miles, Gonzaga (D.C.), undecided; Jose Olivero, W.T. Woodson (Va.), undecided; Matt Causey, Berkmar (Ga.), Georgetown; Thomas Richard, Thomas Johnson, undecided; Ricky Lucas, Herndon (Va.), George Washington; Obie Nwadike, St. Anthony (N.J.), Central Connecticut; DeMario Anderson, Oxon Hill, Central Connecticut; Luke Owings, Gonzaga (D.C.), Princeton; Babacar Thiam, Spingarn (D.C.), undecided; Patrick Ewing, Jr., National Christian (D.C.), undecided; Darian Townes, Archbishop Carroll (D.C.), Georgetown; Jerome Habel, Walt Whitman, undecided. BLUE TEAM (coached by Gerald Moore, Friendly) -Trevan Jackson, Friendly, undecided; Laronja Owens, Annapolis, undecided; Maureece Rice, Strawberry Mansion (Pa.), undecided; Tre Kelley, Dunbar (D.C.), South Carolina; D.J. Strawberry, Mater Dei (Calif.), Maryland; Nick Grant, Paul VI (Va.), Drake; Gary Forbes, Bannaker (N.Y.), Virginia; Bo Taylor, South Lakes (Va.), undecided; Sheray Thomas, Riverdale Baptist, Kentucky; Will Bowers, Archbishop Spalding, Maryland; Stephen Danley, DeMatha, Pennsylvania.

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