The traveling LeBron James Show, otherwise known as the “Scholastic/Fantastic LeBron James Tour”, visited Pauley Pavilion on Saturday evening. (We are not sure why the word “Scholastic” was included.)
The result, in front of the largest crowd in Westwood this year, was a 64-58 victory for St. Vincent-St. Mary’s of Akron, Ohio over Mater Dei of Santa Anna.
The star of the show “King James” scored 21 points (8-23 from the field), 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks. James played the entire game and showed his entire repertoire including an ability to stare down officials and opposing players.
James was guarded by 6’5” Mike Strawberry of Mater Dei who did an excellent job of containing this already legendary player. LeBron was able to exhibit excellent passing skills and at times was very unselfish particularly on a spectacular assist resulting from a between-the-legs backward pass.
It is clear that LeBron James is vastly physically superior to the average high school player. This physical superiority is not going to exist when he makes it to the NBA. It is, therefore, not totally clear what impact he is going to have in the long run. Suffice it to say right now he is clearly the best high school player in many years.
For those who didn’t get caught up in the LeBron hype there was other players on the floor to be noticed in this third game of the Pangos Dream Classic. The most effective player on the floor for most of the game was 6-3 Mater Dei Senior, Wesley Washington who finished with 18 points. Also, we love to watch 6-1 Sophomore Mike Gerrity of Mater Dei. Gerrity is already a gifted point guard. Washington and Gerrity are what high school hoops are all about. LeBron James is not. He is an aberration that fortunately will soon go away.
This victory should go a long way to solidifying St. Vincent-St. Mary as the number one high school team in the nation. (It is already clear they are the number one revenue producing high school team in the nation.) They have increased their record to 8-0 and have already beaten most of the other top contenders for number one. It appears that the biggest problem the Fighting Irish have is finding enough limos to transport LeBron and his extensive security contingent.