Thursday, July 10, 2008
NYC area hoops phenom in the making passes away
Great article by Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com on James Felton, a former basketball standout on the AAU circuit who bounced around the college scene and has passed away at the age of 27.
While the article focuses on his downturn after getting dunked on by Tracy McGrady at the famed ABCD camp 12 years ago, this hit home for me in a different way. It was February 2, 2002 when I was broadcasting Monmouth University basketball at Fairleigh Dickinson and our entire pre game talk was about a player who despite weighing some 300 pounds was a force on offense.
He was coming off 31 point game in his last outing, and despite scoring just 10 in a loss to the Hawks he was still a site to see. The guy averaged 20 points and 7 boards over the course of the year...All these years later I knew that I knew that name.
What I never knew was that he was supposed to be in the NBA or that he had enrolled at St. John's and Florida State, played for the Harlem Globetrotters, or that when he was in his prime at St. John's he weighed 100 pounds less. Apparently he never even really liked basketball, but you could have fooled me. Interesting how things turn out.
-posted by Cadillac Mescallade