Saturday, September 02, 2006

High Scoring Affair At Rucker Park

By Bruin Basketball Report

In the first annual Elite 24 Hoops Classic, the Skip To My Lou squad defeated the Goat squad 141-139, and although the final score of the game may have been inconsequential - the talent was noteworthy.

Twenty-four of the best high school players in the nation, regardless of graduating class or sneaker affiliation, played in the star-studded exhibition game.

UCLA-commit Kevin Love scored 13 points for the Goat squad, but it was teammate J.J. Hickson who scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to lead his team. Goat teammate, Brandon Jennings, scored 12 points and dished out 15 assists to earn co-MVP team honors with Hickson. South Medford's Kyle Singler added 14 points.

The Skip To My Lou squad was led by power forward Michael Beasley with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Beasley, who announced he was transferring from Oak Hill Academy to play at Hargrave Military Academy this year, shared co-MVP team honors with Jerryd Bayless. Bayless, a verbal commit to Arizona, had 15 points and 3 assists.

O.J. Mayo, Bill Walker, and Corey Fisher were late scratches from the game. They were replaced by Antonio “Scoop” Jardine, Samardo Samuels, and 5’6” point guard Erving Walker of New York City.

Rucker, the legendary outdoor basketball court in Harlem, gave rise to some of the best players to ever come out of New York.

Dr.J, Nate "Tiny" Archibald, and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) all played at Rucker.

The game attracted a host of big names. Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Smush Parker of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets were in attendance.

"A game like the McDonald's All-American game has history on its side," Rob Bodenburg of RISE Magazine said. "But Rucker Park is history."



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