The USA Basketball's 4th Annual Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, CO, ended Sunday night with the North squad winning the championship via an 83-82 victory over the East. The South picked up the Bronze medal with a come-from-behind 123-121 win over the West.
But the story of the tournament was not one of the rising seniors; it was LeBron James, this past season's Mr. Ohio Basketball as a sophomore. James will be a rising junior at state-champion St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, OH. He had 25 points in the finale to lead the North to the tournament title.
James scored a record 120 points in five games (24.0 ppg.) to break the record set just last year when North Carolina-bound Melvin Scott from Southern High School In Baltimore poured in 106 points. James also was among the leaders in rebounds (7.2) and assists (2.2).
Chris Rodgers from Wilson High School in Portland, OR, also broke Scott's mark with 110 points and a 22.0 average.
Syracuse-bound Carmello Anthony (Towson (MD) Catholic/Oak Hill Academy) also averaged 24.0 points per game but did not play in the East's final matchup against the North.
The only other sophomore invitee was 6-10, 235 pound center Grant Billmeier from St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth, NJ. James also put his name in the record book for most field goals made (48), breaking the prior best of 44 set last year by New Mexico-recruit Jamaal Williams (Centennial High School, Coronoa, CA). He also set a new mark for most field goals attempted (91), breaking the old record of 86 set in 1999 by Connecticut's Taliek Brown (St. John's Prep, Astoria, NY).
Jeff Horner (Mason City / Mason City, Iowa), tied a Festival record for most steals in a game when he snatched seven against the South on June 15.
Here are the leaders from the five-game event:
* Played in only four games