- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

LeBron James apparently will play his final game as an amateur in the Capital Classic. The high school phenomenon, who is expected to be the first player taken in the NBA Draft, headlines the list of high school standouts for the all-star game April17 at MCI Center.

James a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Akron, Ohio also is scheduled to play in the McDonald's All-America game in Cleveland and the Roundball Classic in Chicago. NCAA rules state that anyone who plays in more than two of these types of games loses his college eligibility. Though it is a foregone conclusion, James' playing in the Capital Classic would officially mean he will bypass college in favor of the NBA.

The classic rosters were announced yesterday and include national and local talent.

Three future Maryland players Ekene Ibekwe, D.J. Strawberry and Will Bowers will play in the doubleheader. Ibekwe, a 6-foot-8 power forward from California, will play in the later national game. Strawberry, a shooting guard and son of former baseball star Darryl Strawberry (California), and Bowers, a 7-foot center from Spalding High in Severn, Md., will be in the earlier regional game.

Two Georgetown hopefuls will play in the preliminary contest 6-foot guard Matt Causey from Georgia and 6-8 center Darian Townes of Archbishop Carroll. A George Washington recruit, 6-5 guard Ricky Lucas (Herndon), also will play.

The national game includes a pair of Duke-bound forwards in Luol Deng (New Jersey) and Kris Humphries (Minnesota) and future Kansas forward J.R. Giddens (Oklahoma). The only local player in the featured game is 6-8 center Linas Kleiza (Montrose Christian).

The regional game will have future Kentucky forward Sheray Thomas (Riverdale Baptist), Virginia recruit and forward Gary Forbes (New York) and power forward Patrick Ewing Jr. (National Christian), who has not decided on a college.

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