Monday, May 03, 1999

Local seniors keep playing

Levett, Brown, Lumpkin need to be seen

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        You never know who's watching.

        For some of the area's senior college basketball players, this is why it is important to play as often as possible in public settings.

        Camps, charity games, all-star contests. Whatever.

        “I can't play enough right now,” Cincinnati's Melvin Levett said. “I'm trying to play in everything and do as much as I can so they'll see the quality of player that I am.”

        That meant a Sunday afternoon game against the Harlem Globetrotters at the Firstar Center.

        The Globetrotters won 106-97 against a team of college all-stars that included Levett and Xavier seniors James Posey, Lenny Brown and Gary Lumpkin.

        All four also played last weekend in Doug Pelfrey's Kicks for Kids Celebrity Shootout.

        There were representatives from the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks on hand Sunday, as well as Joby Wright, the recently named coach and director of basketball operations for the Cincinnati Stuff franchise of the new International Basketball League.

        Posey is projected as a first-round NBA draft pick and doesn't have as much to show to pro scouts. He led the all-star team Sunday with team-highs of 16 points, 14 rebounds and four steals.

        The other three local guys are still proving themselves.

        Levett has had a solid offseason, being named to all-tournament teams at two pre-draft camps — the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational and Nike Desert Classic in Phoenix. He played all three games of the Denny's College All-Star Series against the Globetrotters, including Saturday night in Detroit.

        He had a 4 a.m. wake-up call for the flight to Cincinnati and didn't get a chance to sleep before gametime. He had 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting, eight rebounds and two steals Sunday.

        “Right now I'm a little bit winded,” he said afterward.

        “I've been playing well this summer. ... I'm trying to play as if they don't know who I am.”

        Brown was named to the all-tournament team in Portsmouth, earning an invitation to Phoenix, where he did not think he played as well. A shooting guard for four years at Xavier, Brown is trying to convert to point guard.

        He did not shoot well Sunday (2-of-15) but had five assists, three steals and four rebounds to go with seven points.

        “I'm one of those guys that's on the borderline, so when there's going to be a lot of people who have an influence, I just try to play one of the my best games,” he said.

        Lumpkin, who had nine points, eight rebounds, one assist and three turnovers against the Globetrotters, attended the Portsmouth camp but otherwise has had less exposure than his former teammates.

        “Any publicity you can get only helps,” he said.

        ALL-STARS (97) — Turner 3-15 4-4 10, Posey 6-10 4-4 16, Brown 2-15 2-2 7, Lumpkin 4-12 1-3 9, Levett 2-12 6-6 10, Foster 4-5 0-0 8, Reid 4-8 6-7 14, Okulaja 5-12 0-0 10, Koch 1-4 2-2 5, Eley 3-4 2-4 8. Totals 34-97 27-32 97.

        GLOBETROTTERS (106) — Sanford 8-19 5-6 21, Carter 3-6 1-1 7, Drain 2-8 2-2 7, Jones 3-7 1-2 7, Rhodes 11-21 1-1 26, Ford 1-3 0-0 2, Phillips 4-15 3-6 11, Key 1-1 0-0 2, St. Julien 2-3 0-0 4, Louis 1-1 2-2 4, George 7-14 1-2 15. Totals 43-98 16-22 106.

All-Stars ....... 30 26 19 22— 97
Globetrotters ....... 32 23 25 26—106

3-Point Goals—All-Stars 2-18 (Turner 0-3, Posey 0-2, Brown 1-6, Lumpkin 0-1, Levett 0-3, Koch 1-3), Globetrotters 4-18 (Sanford 0-1, Drain 1-5, Rhodes 3-5, Ford 0-2, Phillips 0-3, George 0-2). Rebounds—All-Stars 62 (Posey 14, Lumpkin 8, Levett 8), Globetrotters 67 (Rhodes 13, Sanford 10, St. Julien 10). Assists—All-Stars 18 (Brown 5, Reid 5), Globetrotters 23 (Sanford 7, Phillips 7). A—8,614.


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