ABCD: Getting Started

<b>TEANECK, NJ</b> The action gets underway at the 2004 Reebok ABCD Camp Thursday afternoon and we've got some juicy tidbits and insight to wet your appetite.

Play at the 2004 Reebok ABCD Camp officially gets underway this afternoon but there have been some interesting happening in the Rothman Center on the campus at Fairleigh Dickinson University the past two days.

Here are some tidbits and interesting items to wet your appetite before the action heats up Thursday afternoon.

Tangible Benefits

One of the most important benefits of having several talented prospects already committed to your school playing in the national shoe camps is that the players themselves become salesmen and recruiters during the week.

Case in point. One of the University of Louisville's recent commits was heard discussing the reasons he chose to play for Rick Pitino and the Cardinals with other campers and spectators Wednesday evening prior to a late night practice session.

"We have a movie theater in our dorm, our own chef and a private jet that we use to travel to games in," he said. "There are twenty thousand fans at every home game and it's really like playing in the NBA."

And apparently Louisville's recent slew of recruiting success has helped the Cardinals become the flavor of day, as media representatives, players and parents all want to discuss Pitino's burgeoning program.

Youngster Shows Promise

6-foot-6 Martez Walker hasn't attended a high school class just yet, but his youth doesn't appear to be a hindrance at the star-studded camp.

Walker, who has attended the University of Louisville basketball camp the past two years and played for the Reserve Christian (LA) varsity as an eighth grader, has proven he belongs here this week. One of only two members of the class of 2008 invited to ABCD this week, Walker has shown poise, intelligence and unselfishness during practice, scrimmages and station drills the past two days.

And make no mistake. Though extremely early in the process, Louisville is in the drivers seat with Walker, whose father, Larry, has nothing but glowing reviews of Pitino's program.

"Rick Pitino doesn't have to entice kids the way some of the other college coaches have to," the elder Walker said yesterday. "He runs a great program, has proven he knows how to develop talent and sells kids on his track record of getting them ready to play in the NBA."

Commits and Prospects in Attendance

U of L commits Andre McGee and Clarence Holloway are present and accounted for at ABCD. 6-foot-9 Amir Johnson, who is scheduled to play in Teaneck and slated to be on the same team as McGee, hadn't arrived in New Jersey as of Thursday morning because he's attending to some summer school classes in Los Angeles. He's expected to arrive later today.

Several Louisville prospects are at ABCD, including 6-foot-7 Brandon Rush, 6-foot-5 Marcus Johnson, and 6-foot-5 Bryan Harvey.

Speaking of Holloway, weight-wise he's looking pretty fit. In full court scrimmage action Wednesday evening, he appeared to run the court better than he had in the past. However, his strength and conditioning need major work.

Set up perfectly for McGee, don't be surprised if he lights it up this week for the second straight year. McGee's father, Tony, who played at Long Beach State in the late 1970's and his older brother, who played for Eastern Washington, made the trip east for the week.

"Both his mother and I are very excited about Andre's decision to go to Louisville. We've got Louisville stuff all over our house and I've been wearing Louisville hats and shirts since he committed," the elder McGee said laughing. "We think he made a great choice and believe he's got an opportunity to really be apart of something special."

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