Paul Leads Kappa Magic To Title
On Wednesday afternoon in Florida, Chris Paul led the Kappa Magic to the AAU National Championship. The Wake Forest bound point guard led all scorers with 30 points.
"I've been at this for seven years," Paul said of his run in the AAU's. "I've got a ninth [place finish], ninth again and then a third; fifth and then third and now this topped it off."
Paul's steady play throughout the event was good enough to warrant the MVP award. No all-america team was selected as it had been in previous years but should they have selected a team, Reyshawn Terry would have been on it. Terry's steady and athletic play augmented Paul's dominance with the ball in his hands. He scored 18 in the championship and helped Kappa separate itself from gritty All-Ohio.
In the fourth quarter, Paul looked off a defender and left a bounce pass at the free throw line for Terry. The small forward caught the bouncer in stride and proceeded to launch himself at the rim. The result was a vicious slam that ignited his team and set the wheels in motion for a win. Usually, All-Ohio uses a Brandon Foust dunk to fuel a game-winning rally but this time the honor was all Terry's.
For All-Ohio, guard Andrew Lavender was again the man. He scored 22 points in the loss. Lavender's summer play should earn him a spot on the McDonald's All-American team alongside likely PG selections Mustafa Shakur and Paul. The little big man took his team to the semifinals of the Super Showcase, finals of the nationals and won the Nike Peach Jam. It was a terrific run and he and his teammates had to be weary in the end.
On the flipside, Kappa was probably the most well rested of all the playoff entrants. Aside from the major shoe camps attended by Paul, Terry and Eddie Green-Long, the team was relatively off the road until the nationals.
Kappa Magic, 2002 AAU National Champions