Not stars like LeBron James вЂ” even though he was there. Rather, it was the stars of the futureвЂ™s turn to step onto the hardwood in front of a crowd below shimmering purple-and-gold lights.
The Chosen-1вЂ™s Invitational, a basketball showcase event sponsored by James that featured four Nike Elite high schools from across the country , featuring the immense talents of the Chatsworth Sierra Canyon boysвЂ™ and girlsвЂ™ programs.
The Trailblazer boys took down JamesвЂ™ alma mater, Akron (Ohio) St.VincentвЂ”St. Mary, 71-53, while the girlsвЂ™ team rolled over New York Christ the King 69-52.
In front of NBA stars past and present вЂ” James, Zach Randolph, Metta World Peace, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul all showed up at one point вЂ” the TrailblazersвЂ™ Bronny James and Juju Watkins dominated in their matchups.
Darting across the same court his father graces for Lakers home game, Bronny finished with an efficient 19 points on seven-of-11 shooting from the field, a variety of deep looks and crafty finishes in transition.With James clapping from courtside seats , Bronny drove Sierra Canyon to a big lead early thanks to a pair of catch-and-shoot threes in the first quarter and active defense that included drawing a charge.
Amari Bailey, Sierra CanyonвЂ™s five-star recruit and The TimesвЂ™ reigning boysвЂ™ basketball player of the year, didnвЂ™t play Saturday and could be seen using crutches. Coach Andre Chevalier said he had an ankle sprain and would be week-to-week.
Bailey was out to start the season because of a foot injury but returned Wednesday night to score 23 points against Santa Clarita West Ranch.In his absence, a deep Trailblazers team stepped up. In addition to BronnyвЂ™s efforts came a dominant double-double вЂ” 17 points and 13 rebounds вЂ” from senior Shy Odom. Kijani Wright added 15 points and Ramel Lloyd scored 13.
As impressive as Sierra Canyon boys played, it was Watkins who won the evening. The hometown kid вЂ” Watkins is from Watts вЂ” attacked from the tip, Top Site Info drawing 18 free throws against Christ the King while finishing with 39 points.She nailed four three-pointers and notched multiple resounding blocks, dominating the floor against Christ the King.
MacKenly Randolph, daughter of former NBA star Zach Randolph, contributed 15 points and eight rebounds.
The other Southern California program in the tournament, Fairfax, didnвЂ™t fare quite as well. The girlsвЂ™ team lost 66-17 to St. Vincent-St. Mary, while the boysвЂ™ team lost to Christ the King 51-42 in a gritty defensive battle.
LeBron James is in the building at the Chosen-1вЂ™s invitational, now in the 3rd quarter of the Fairfax-Christ the King boysвЂ™ game.pic.twitter.com/XY7d79Nqxx
Harvard-Westlake 79, Cajon 47: The Wolverines (8-0) won the Maranatha tournament. Cameron Thrower had 22 points in the win.
Rolling Hills Prep 60, Mira Costa 48: Tournament MVP Benny Gealer scored 19 points and had eight assists for 7-0 Rolling Hills Prep.
Etiwanda 61, Great Oak 37: The Eagles (6-0) received 14 points from Curtis Williams to win the IE Challenge.
Tesoro 73, Irvine University 33: Jake Bennett had 16 points and 17 rebounds for 8-0 Tesoro.
Dominguez 72, Whittier Christian 48: Franklyn Chambers scored 41 points for Dominguez.
Calabasas 79, La Quinta 61: Coach Jon Palarz won his 500th game.
Gavin Murphy scored 27 points for the Coyotes.
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