Tuesday, July 13, 1999

More to basketball tourney than title


Bragging rights on line in USA Summer final

BY SAM MELLINGER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[mcafee]
Gary Lumpkin controls the ball, while under pressure from Maurice McAfee.
(Saed Hindash photo)

| ZOOM |
        There's more than just a big trophy at stake.

        The winner of today's AutoNations USA Summer Basketball Tournament championship game at 7:30p.m. will receive a full year's worth of bragging rights. And don't think the players for ReMax and Kenwood Oldtimers don't know the implications of the game at Purcell Marian High.

        “We see each other a lot, especially in the offseason,” said Maurice McAfee, Xavier junior-to-be and Kenwood's point guard. “Whoever wins, whenever we see each other on the street, or playing ball or whatever, we'll let each other know.”

        Because most of the players for each team live or play college ball in the area, the winners will have plenty of chances to boast. Xavier and other area schools hold open gym periodically in the offseason, and McAfee said many of the players in tonight's game will be there.

        “Believe me, no matter which team wins, it'll get brought up then,” he said.

        ReMax won the first meeting by three points in overtime.

        “That was a very close game,” said former UC player Damon Flint, a Kenwood forward. “It could have gone either way, so we're looking for a little revenge now.”

        Said ReMax's Eric Martin: “We didn't even play good (Sunday in the semifinals). But we still could be champs on Tuesday, so I'm sure we'll play better.”

        Flint and Martin are among those competing today who also will participate in the Cincinnati Stuff's three-day camp, which begins Friday. Kenwood's Jack Jennings and Remax's A.D. Jackson are also invited.

        The camp will help Cincinnati's IBL team fill its roster.

        “I've seen a talent level here, no question about it,” said Joby Wright, Stuff coach and General Manager. “But what we're talking about here is professional basketball, it's a little different. What I'm looking for is guys who can put the mental with the physical.”

        Some of the tournament's participants are weary of playing in the IBL's rookie season, but not Flint.

        “I had a pretty good deal last year,” said Flint, who played in Saudi Arabia. “But if I can, I want to play for the Stuff.”

       



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