SPORTS PEOPLE

Strawberry's son slows down James


Published: Monday, January 6, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 11:06 p.m.

LOS ANGELES - Darryl Strawberry's son couldn't stop LeBron James, but he at least slowed him down.

Despite a relatively off night, James and his top-ranked Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary team held off D.J. Strawberry and fifth-ranked Santa Ana Mater Dei in a 64-58 victory Saturday night.

Strawberry held James, considered the best high school player in the country, to 21 points, his second-lowest total of the season, on 8-of-24 shooting before a sellout crowd of approximately 12,000 at Pauley Pavilion and a national television audience on ESPN2.

James also had nine rebounds and seven assists as the Fighting Irish improved to 8-0.

James, 17, is expected to bypass college and become the first player chosen in the NBA draft. He has become one of the most talked about high school players ever after appearing on the covers of Sports Illustrated and other publications.

Strawberry finished with seven points for Mater Dei (15-2).

James' first shot of the game was an airball and he missed his next five attempts before making a layup with 1:18 left in the eight-minute first quarter. James also had a flashy assist on a backwards bounce pass between the legs to Romeo Travis, who dunked.

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