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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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Saturday / January 16.

    ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Fresh off watching Justify win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday, Kentucky coach John Calipari made an appearance here Monday night to watch several top prospects in a blowout of epic proportions.

    Calipari and assistant Tony Barbee were among the coaches courtside for Tyrese Maxey, Matthew Hurt and Cole Anthony as the U.S. destroyed Panama, 118-26, in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship at the Meridian Centre.

    “He just tries to help me get better always, tells me the things I need to work on,” Maxey, a Class of 2019 Kentucky commit, said of his future coach after going for 12 points and 3 assists in the lopsided loss. “He’s just checking in, saying hello all the time, asks me how I’m doing.”


    Nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton said Monday in a video interview with Sheena Marie of Black Sports Online that LeBron James will send his son Lebron James Jr. to Sierra Canyon (CA) School in Los Angeles next year.

    “Anything could happen. People don’t look at everything. [LeBron James’] son just committed to Sierra Canyon which is in the valley of LA,” said Payton.

    “That’s a move that they’re going to make,” Payton continued. “If everybody looks at it with a son at that age, you don’t want to be away from him during that period of time. During the time that we’re having, basketball is school time. I think that [Bronny] needs a father during that time and that’s it. I don’t think LeBron is that type of parent, I think he wants to be around his son a lot and see his son play a lot.”


    ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO — Lester Quinones, the 6-foot-5 guard from St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ), is here playing for the Dominican Republic at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

    He sees it as a great way to grow his game while playing an international competition in front of a slew of high-major college coaches.

    “It’s a great experience,” Quinones told me before he went for 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 7-of-12 from deep, in the Dominican’s 108-94 loss to Puerto Rico on Monday. “It’s teaching me to become more of a leader because I have to lead this team. We have a lot of talent on this team but I have to speak up and be more vocal than my high school team or my AAU team. I’m basically the point guard, so I have to tell people where to be and what spots to get to. I have to collect phones at night, all the responsibilities that come with it.”