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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / December 13.
  • LaMelo Ball goes for 20 points, 13 assists in Spire debut, Rocket Watts drops 38

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Playing in his first game at Spire Academy since announcing his return to high school basketbal last week, LaMelo Ball went for 20 points, 13 assists and 5 rebounds in Spire’s 96-84 win at The Hill school outside Philadelphia.

    Michigan State-bound guard Mark “Rocket” Watts poured in 38 points and 4 assists.

    Ball, the 6-foot-7 guard who initially committed to UCLA, is back in the high school ranks after stints playing professionally in Lithuania and with the Junior Ballers Association.

    He has said he hopes to play at a top American college like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky or Michigan State, but it remains unclear if he’ll be eligible for college.

    Jermaine Jackson, who played in the NBA for the Pistons, Raptors, Hawks and Knicks and is now the Spire head coach, says Ball could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in a couple of years.

    “In my opinion, LaMelo Ball can be the No. 1 pick in a year or two going to the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Jackson told TMZ Sports.

    “Ain’t no question about it.”

    Spire won’t play again until a game at Quality Education (N.C.) Nov. 19.

    Additionally, Spire is expected to play Our Savior New American at the prestigious Hoophall Classic on Jan. 19, sources told ZAGSBLOG. 

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.