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April 29, 2007
GA Stars win King James
AKRON, OH -- With an overload of teams from Ohio in the field, the odds were strong that a home state team would win the King James Shooting Stars Classic this weekend. Apparently, the Georgia Stars thought otherwise.
The Georgia Stars came to Ohio and knocked off to of the Buckeye State's top programs en route to the 17 and under championship. The Stars beat the D1 Greyhounds in the final on Sunday afternoon 56-52. However, the team did not need to lean on its superstars and relied heavily on its supporting cast to advance to the finals and win it.
Reserve forward Travis Leslie played a huge role for the Stars on Sunday, scoring a team high 15 points in the championship game. The bouncy 6-foot-5 forward played with great energy and explosion around the basket, where he grabbed rebounds and played above the rim. His energy and active body was a nice compliment to the big front line that the Stars employ.
Leslie has always been a guy that high-majors have evaluated and while there are still questions about his jump shot and overall feel for the game, Leslie certainly played at a level that would garner high-major offers. Clemson watched him closely. So did the Georgia staff. Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Fordham, Toledo, Kansas State and others had to take notice of his effectiveness, particularly in clutch situations.
Leslie had help from Wesley Witherspoon, who scored 10 points. The 6-foot-8 wing was quick to the hole and found the cracks in the defense to slide through for buckets at the rim. He's a rare prospect with his size because he does handle the ball so well and attack with such fluidity.
Center Darius Morrow scored eight points and capped off a productive weekend of work. Five-star forward Al-Farouq Aminu scored seven points and seemed spent after a long weekend of everyone coming at him.
The D1 Greyhounds were led by Ohio State pledge William Buford, who scored 18 points. The 6-foot-5 guard had a great weekend in Akron and probably would like to have this one back as he scored but didn't have the kind of impact he had all weekend long.
Darius Miller added 11 points in the defeat.
Rivals.com will have much more from Akron later.