TEANECK, N.J. -- In another terrific matchup at the adidas ABCD Camp on Tuesday, the likely pupil gave the likely teacher a lesson.
LeBron James, a precocious rising junior from Akron, Ohio, scored 24 points and hit a 40 foot game winning three point basket to propel the Suns to an 85-83 victory over Lenny Cooke's Warriors.
Cooke, a 6-6 small forward who is considered by many the top prospect in the Class of 2002, is entering his fifth year of school. Many in attendance thought the older Cooke might teach the younger James a lesson.
But it was James who made all the big plays in the contest, culminating in the incredible long distance shot in front of a stunned packed Court 2 at the ABCD Camp.
Entering the fourth quarter of action, the Suns trailed 72-59. James had helped the Suns attain a two point halftime lead. But with him out of the game in the third quarter, the Warriors built a 13 point lead thanks to fine contributions from Michael Ford (18 points) and Paul Davis (11 points, 9 rebounds).
With less than two minutes to play, James made a crisp pass upcourt to Iowa State commitment Adam Haluska, who scored and was fouled. His free throw cut the lead to 82-77.
Moments later, Bobby Nash was fouled shooting a three, and he hit all three freebies to slice the deficit to 82-80.
The Warriors' Antonio Lawrence had a chance to push the lead to four, but he hit one of two free throws to inch the lead to 83-80.
That's when James took matters into his own hands. He drove the lane and exploded for a dunk to cut it to 83-82. His desperation three pointer seconds later gave the Warriors the win, a shot which he hit while on the move and with the clock dwindling toward zero.
James showed why he IS the best basketball prospect in the country bar none. He has the ability to bring up the court, distribute the basketball and uses the dribble and advanced jump stop moves to create his own shot. His athleticism is in another stratosphere, as he routinely gained the lane and exploded to the rim for powerful dunk.
As for Cooke, he is a very talented OFFENSIVE player in his own right, but too often his fancy dribbling and juking did not free him up for good looks thanks to tight defense from James. Cooke managed just eight points in the game, and he sulked a bit late in the game when things started to unravel.
Cooke did not make others make the big plays down the stretch like James.
Hopefully, Cooke learns his lessons from this matchup and works on becoming an even better all-around player, because James proved on Tuesday that he has no peers at this point on the high school level.