LAS VEGAS –
Most of the 93 high school stars in attendance this weekend at the LeBron James Skills Academy are used to being scrutinized by scouts and grilled by the media. It's tough to get a rise out of this group.
But when LeBron James popped in at Rancho High School on Sunday along with Olympic teammates Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, many of the highly-prized recruits fawned over their collective presence just as any fan would.
"I told one of my teammates, 'My heart just dropped.' Not just LeBron but the whole USA team. It was crazy," said Edmond Memorial (Okla.)
point guard Jordan Woodard
King James stayed for over an hour, taking in a game that included Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
star Andrew Wiggins
– dubbed "The LeBron of Canada" by some.
Monday is the final day of action at the event, with campers competing in an eight-team tournament that will wrap up around 9 p.m.
We checked in with several standout guards Sunday to see where the recruiting process stands. Monday we will shift gears to the post players.
* Woodard, whose brother James will be a freshman at Tulsa in the fall, is being recruited the hardest by Oklahoma and Stanford at this point. Tulsa will definitely get a visit. The 5-foot-11 point also has an offer from Memphis and is hearing from Kansas and Oklahoma State.
* JaJuan Johnson
, a 6-4 shooting guard from Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.)
, is receiving a strong push from Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville and Texas. New regulations easing the ability of coaches to call and text recruits is keeping Johnson busy. He whipped out his iPhone to show 100 unread text messages. "Most of them are from coaches," Johnson said. "You have to ignore some of them so if family calls you have room for them."
* Xavier Rathan-Mayes
, a 6-2 shooting guard at Huntington Prep by way of Canada, is hearing most from Baylor, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, North Carolina State and Washington State. Playing alongside fellow LeBron campers Tyler Ennis
and Wiggins for club team CIA Bounce, Rathan-Mayes has established himself as one of the top deep threats in the Class of 2013 this summer.
* Kameron Williams
, a 6-3 shooting guard from Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore)
, was the EYBL's (Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League) leading scorer during the 20-game regular season and has found the bottom of the net often in Las Vegas. A long list of suitors for his services includes Boston College, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Providence, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Xavier. "It just goes to show that a lot of hard work pays off in the gym," Williams said.More on the guards
* Diminutive Parker Jackson-Cartwright
of Loyola (Los Angeles)
– just a rising junior – is driving some of the more established guards nuts. Just ask five-star 2013 PG Anthony Barber
, who got his pocket picked a couple times Sunday by the 5-7 point man. Jackson-Cartwright simply has an unbelievable feel for the game. He's already special. If he grows, watch out.
* Wesley Clark
of Romulus (Mich.)
drew rave reviews Sunday. The 5-11 point guard put the exclamation point on a breakout day by hitting an overtime game-winner in the final seconds. Clark is joined at the event by Romulus teammate E.C. Matthews
,a 6-4 shooting guard. Needless to say, the perennial Michigan power will be loaded in the backcourt in 2012-13.