Deion James Gets Second Chance

Deion James hasn't gotten nearly the amount of attention from colleges he would have liked, but now he's able to put it into perspective after a five-day stint in the hospital that put his career in jeopardy.

When Deion James blocked 6-8, 225-pound Alfred Aboya's shot last month and his arm went dead afterwards, he didn't give it much thought. The 6-2 Brewster Academy (N.H.) floor leader just figured it was a short-term thing.

However, after a couple practices and a game against Winchendon, James realized that his right hand wasn't getting much better. It was cold virtually all the time, so he went to the doctor.

Next thing James knew he was in the hospital for surgery because of a blood clot.

``It was pretty serious," said James, a Milwaukee native who is in his second year at Brewster. "I could have lost my hand."

Instead, the surgery was successful and James not only returned home after five days, but also returned to the court about two weeks after his first-ever trip to the hospital.

James ended up missing four games.

``That was nothing since I was supposed to miss the rest of the season," he said. "I really ended up beating the odds. I'm not even supposed to be playing now."

When James came from Milwaukee Vincent to Brewster a year ago, he was a two-guard. Now he's successfully made the transition to the point.

James scored 28 points in a win over IMG last weekend at the National Prep School Invitational and also led Brewster to a victory over St. Thomas More. Brewster is 15-4 this season.

However, despite averaging 18 points per game and excelling in the classroom with a 3.2 GPA and a 21 on the ACT, the looks have been few and far between for James.

``He defends, he's a tough competitor and is a leader," Brewster coach Jason Smith said. "He challenges his teammates if they aren't giving it their all."

``He does everything well, but nothing spectacular," added Smith. "He's not a deadly shooter, not a pure point guard and not a big-time athlete, but he does everything well."

Smith said that Wooford, Hartford, Ohio, William & Mary, Lehigh, Long Island and Western Carolina are some of the schools that have expressed interest. But James may pass on those offers and instead walk-on at Iowa.

``I think I've got a much better feel for the game," James said. "When I came here, I had never played point guard. Right now I play against some big-time point guards and I feel I'm as good as any of them. I shoot it much better than last year and am not nearly as reckless."

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