HOUSTON - As anticipated, O.J. Mayo did show up to play with the Miami Tropics in the Kingwood Classic. It was a sub-par performance for Mayo by his standards, but he did help the Tropics win over Kyle Singler and the Portland Elite Legends. After the game, Mayo discussed his switch to the Tropics and other items with Rivals.com.
Unofficially scoring 12 points, Mayo did not score his first field goal until 7:24 left in the second half. Despite his 3 for 10 shooting from the field and facing a box and one in the second half, Mayo kept his focus on helping the Tropics win.
"This is the last year I can play at the Kingwood and try to win the open division," said Mayo. "The Tropics are a good team, and Coach Alvarez feels I can put them over the top. I wasn't out here trying to score 30 points."
Although speculation is rampant that Mayo's switch this weekend to the Tropics is the beginning of a permanent switch by Mayo from Reebok to Nike, Mayo maintained that the switch is only for this weekend.
His plan is to be back with the D-One Greyhounds for the King James Shootout in Akron, Ohio, next weekend, and he denied that he is making a switch from Reebok to Nike.
Mayo did, however, visit Oak Hill Academy, whose basketball program is sponsored by Nike, on Friday before traveling to Houston.
"I visited Oak Hill yesterday," he said. "As of now I'm still going to be at North College Hill. It's like a family there, and we have a chance to do something no other team has done in Ohio, winning the state championship three times."
Mayo did say that attending Oak Hill Academy next year is still an option.
Attending Kansas State in 2007-2008 is also an option for Mayo, but he refused to reveal a school list.
"Going to Kansas State is most definitely an option, but I'm still open. There are a lot of schools recruiting me."
Although he did not score at his usual clip, Mayo did contribute with four steals and a couple assists, rebounds and blocks with only one turnover even though he is coming off a stress fracture in his left foot. He finished with 14 points.
"This is the first time I have played since the state tournament," he said. "I've just been lifting and working out. I was rusty and overly excited and a little nervous. I'm used to playing with my other teammates… But this is a great opportunity for me to play with some other good players."