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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

ABCD Camp: Battle For No. 1 Is Over,
And LeBron Wins--(July 10, 2001)

While our good friend Clark Francis has consistently ranked Lenny Cooke (6'-6" Sr. F) from Brooklyn, NY as his No. 1 player at ABCD for the past three days,  today's matchup with the consensus No. 1 player in high school in the country, LeBron James (6'-7 So. F) from Akron, Ohio, resulted in the unofficial crowning of a new No. 1, and that probably means that if there ever was any doubt about who the current "best" player is, there isn't or at least wasn't today in the head-to-head matchup between the two.   With his team trailing by two points, and only second remaining on the clock, James took the inbounds pass down at the far end of the court, sprinted to just across midcourt, and as the buzzer sounded, launched a three-pointer which swished in, giving his team the win and sending the assembled camp, including college coaches, counselors, media and the rest of the spectators into a frenzy.

Cooke managed to get in his own licks a couple of times, but finished with only 9 points.  He did manage to show some devastating crossover moves which had everyone gasping for breath, and which had James checking his ankles.   Cooke may be small by NBA standards, but he's one of the best ballhandlers we've seen in a while, and he passes and makes excellent decisions and would probably project to be a very nice pro point guard someday.  And from what we're hearing, that "someday" just might be closer than a lot of people might expect.  Cooke has exhausted his high school eligibility, is 19 years old (maybe older) and will still have one more year of school just to be able to qualify, so he will go to a prep school this fall.  Whether he never plays a day in college, he showed today that even in defeat he's still a great player, and his team actually played great "team" ball.

But James was just too much, particularly when combined with Leon Powe and Adam Haluska, and the three of them combined for a total of 66 of the team's 84 points.  James had 24 and he was just unstoppable in the second half.  In the tradition of the camp, when two players of this stature go head-to-head, the coaches played them both for the entire 32 minutes.  Cooke hung with James during the first half, but in the second, it was all James, as he scored in a variety of ways, with slick moves to the basket, and unbelievable body control. 

Tim Drisdom played on the losing team in this one, and he finished with 8 points and 5 assists (at least that's what the yahoos keeping the stas had in this game, and we don't trust it for a minute....the assists were probably off by a factor of two).  Antonio Lawrence was the leading scorer for the Warriors, but once again he opted for the spectacular rather than the obvious, and instead of laying the ball in, went for the slam dunk, and missed....had he made that basket....well, you know the story.  Antonio is also unbelievably talented, and he showed it in this game, but he will need to improve his decision making before he is really ready for the NBA.


More notes:

Our favorite line of the day was uttered by another internet guy (we forgot his name), who works closely with Bob Gibbons:  "This stuff doesn't mean a thing.  It's like a beauty contest.  This (ABCD Camp) is like the swimsuit competition:  Some of these guys are prettier than others.  But whether they will win the competition has nothing to do with how they score or play here.  In fact some of the scorers are actually hurting themselves more with the college coaches than they will ever know."

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