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David
12-26-2002, 05:47 PM
Thursday, December 26, 2002
James, St. Vincent-St. Mary back on ESPN2
ESPN.com

Based on its success with the first national high school telecast involving LeBron James, ESPN2 will offer live coverage of the Pangos Dream Classic on Jan. 4.

The 9:30 p.m. ET game, from Pauley Pavilion on UCLA's campus, will feature two USA Today-ranked top 10 programs: James-led No. 9 St. Vincent-St. Mary High School of Akron, Ohio, vs. No. 4 Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, Calif.

Mater Dei is led by University of Maryland-bound D.J. Strawberry, a top prep player and the son of former major league star Darryl Strawberry.

Dan Shulman, Bill Walton and reporter Jay Bilas will call the game.

ESPN2's Dec. 12 telecast St. Vincent-St. Mary's victory over then-top-ranked Oak Hill Academy garnered a 1.97 rating (1.67 million homes), the network's highest rating in almost two years. ESPN2's coverage of the GMAC Bowl (2.28) on Dec. 18 has since surpassed that rating.

ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle said the St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Oak Hill Academy broadcast was the third highest rated basketball game in ESPN2's history. Two North Carolina-Duke games drew a 3.0 and a 2.9 rating.

It was the first time ESPN broadcast a high school game in 13 years. James, 17, who is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA draft, scored 31 points, had 13 rebounds and six assists in a 65-45 victory over Oak Hill before a crowd of 11,523 at Cleveland State University.

James, who was recently featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine as its "Next" athlete, has been featured in other national magazines and newspapers, including the covers of Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Basketball Times and more.

He is regarded as the top high school boys basketball prospect in the country. Last season, he was the first junior to ever win Gatorade's National Player of the Year.

Copyright 2002 ESPN Internet Ventures.

David
01-04-2003, 11:26 AM
This game is on tonight at 8:30.