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Elite 8x2 Tournament hosts nation’s best

By Jared Green
Saturday July 28, 2001

Stars include Ohio star LeBron James, Oakland Tech’s Leon Powe 


Early next week, local basketball fans are in for a real treat. Sixteen of the best summer teams in the country will be playing each other right here in Berkeley, and the nation’s top player will be there. 

The Slam ‘n Jam Elite 8x2 Tournament kicks off on Monday on the UC Berkeley campus. With teams from as far away as Houston and Michigan, the competition will be tough, and summer basketball is some of the most spectacular a fan is likely to see from high school players. 

Hosted by the Oakland Soldiers, the top team in the Slam ‘n Jam family, the tournament will feature some of the best prep players in the country. The biggest names include Florida signee Anthony Roberson, Duke signee Sean Dockery, and the precocious Sebastian Telfair, a sophomore point guard who just happens to be the cousin of NBA star Stephon Marbury. 

Perhaps the biggest star to take the stage will be Slam ‘n Jam’s own LeBron James. But any Cal fans that may dream of seeing James in the blue and gold should beware: widely considered the best player in the nation, the 6-foot-7 James has talked of being the first high school junior to enter the NBA Draft. Although that may be a pipe dream (James would have to head to court to challenge an NBA rule that a player’s high school class must graduate before he can enter the draft), the 16-year-old Ohio prepster should provide some highlights at the tournament. 

James’ teammates include Oakland Tech junior Leon “The Show” Powe and Riordan (San Francisco) senior Marquis Kately, who are two of the top players in California, as well as local boys John Sharper and DeShawn Freeman, the St. Mary’s backcourt duo that led the Panthers to a state championship last season. 

Other California teams include Elite Basketball Organization, which stars Modesto Christian point guard and Cal recruit Richard Midgely, Bay Area Ballers and 805. 

The Slam ‘n Jam Elite 8x2 Tournament will be hald Monday through Wednesday at the RSF Fieldhouse at UC Berkeley. Games will run from 3:30 p.m. until 9:30.