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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LeBron James gave the Oakland Soldiers a shout out and then watched the loaded AAU team win the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas.
“It felt awesome. He gave us a salute,” Soldiers forward Kyle Wiltjer of Portland, Ore., who scored 16 points in the win, said by text.
James is apparently spending the weekend in Vegas partying with Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.
With team sponsor Drew Gooden also watching, the Soldiers routed the Iowa Barnstormers, 86-66, behind a game-high 19 points from senior wing Jabari Brown of Oakland, Calif.
“It feels good to win Vegas because we really expected to win Peach [Jam] so this was a major bounce back for our squad,” Brown wrote in a text. The Soldiers fell in the quarters at Peach Jam.
Senior guard Nick Johnson of Findlay Prep added 16 points and 8 assists and junior forward Brandon Ashley of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, Rivals reported. Ashley also just picked up an offer from Kentucky to go with his previous list of UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Washington and Stanford.
The New Jersey Playaz reached the semis before losing to the Soldiers.
Junior guard Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony dropped 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists but was forced to leave the game with three minutes left in the first half with a foot injury and the Playaz up by 7. When he returned with 12 minutes left in the game, the Soldiers led by 14.
Senior forward Desmond Hubert added 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Senior guard Myles Davis scored 14 points and had 5 assists and senior guard Myles Mack scored 11 points.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins will remain hospitalized longer than expected. Team spokesman Bryan Messerly told the APHuggins would be released within the next “couple days.” Huggins fell Friday in his Las Vegas hotel room and broke four ribs.
Seattle Garfield guard Tony Wroten tweeted that he’s “opening up his list” to include Louisville, Washington, Villanova, Memphis, UConn, N.C. State, Oregon, Alabama, North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Florida International, Washington State, Miami, and Kentucky.
Junior guard Shabazz Muhammad of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School says he wants to visit Memphis unofficially. He told the Tucson Citizen head coach Josh Pastner and assistant Jack Murphy “talk to my dad every day.”
Demetrius Jemison, a 6-8 senior forward, is transferring to Manhattan from Alabama.
Tristan Spurlock, a 6-8 small forward, leaves Virginia for Central Florida, per The Washington Post.
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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.