J.R. Smith on display in Va. this weekend

Oscar Smith High School is the place to be this coming Saturday as the first annual Battle of the Bay tips-off in Chesapeake, Va.

Local hoops event promoter Thomas Leachman has once again assembled an elite crop of talent as he's bringing in several of the top seniors in the nation. Leachman's event will also feature a handful of top underclassmen that are sure to contend for All-American status down the road.

Inside Carolina will be on hand for game coverage as well as in depth reports on future Tar Heel, J.R. Smith. Smith leads St. Benedicts (NJ) in the nightcap against Nansemond-River (Va.) and their 6-3 PG Marquie Cooke. Cooke has signed to play in the ACC at Virginia Tech next season.

Other key players of note include Vernon Macklin, a 6-8 sophomore forward from Norcom High School, who is ranked by some scouting services as a top five player in the class of 2006. Meadowbrook's Devin Johnson, an athletic 6-2 lead guard from the class of 2006 will also be in attendance. Johnson's stock is sure to surge once he gets more national exposure and several Big East and ACC schools are already tracking his progress closely.

Tickets will be available at the door for $10.00. The games start at 1:30 on Saturday, January 10th and four games follow. The address for Oscar Smith High School is 1994 Tiger Drive, Chesapeake, Va. 22320. For additional information, please contact Thomas Leachman at 804.368.7951

Game 1: The Miller School vs. Oscar Smith HS -- 1:30

Game 2: Laurinburg Institute vs. Coastal Christian -- 3:00

Game 3: Herndon High School vs. Salem High School -- 4:30

Game 4: Meadowbrook High School vs. IC Norcom -- 6:00

Game 5: St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) vs. Nansemond-River -- 7:30

Top Players in attendance:

JR Smith 6-5 WF St. Benedicts -- Carolina bound wing player is one of the finest athletes in the nation.

Marquie Cooke 6-3 PG Nansemond-River -- Bound for Virginia Tech, Cooke is a physical point guard who can score in bunches.

Vernon Macklin 6-8 F Norcom -- One of the top sophomores on the planet. Rangy athlete who scores, rebounds and block shots.

Devin Johnson 6-2 PG Meadowbrook -- Johnson has an electric first step and gets to the rim at will. Superb athlete who is a streaky shooter.

Alex Galindo 6-7 WG St. Benedicts -- He has great skills to go along with his smooth feel for the game. This is a kid who can heat up from behind the arc.

Jackie Butler 6-11 C Coastal Christian -- Butler is a speciman. Athletic and powerful, this 260 pound big man has an NBA physique. He's signed with Tennessee but keeps one eye on his NBA status.

Others to watch: Laimis Kisielius (Miller School/William & Mary), Mladen Cvijanovic (Miller School) Dexter Manley (Oscar Smith) Hatila De Souza (Laurinburg), Diego Baleario (Laurinburg/Tennesse State), Damiao Rodriguez (Laurinburg), Renato Souza (Laurinburg), Draelon Burns (Laurinburg), Rodrigo Da Silva (Laurinburg), Keith Darden (Coastal Christian), David Shelton (Coastal Christian), Adam Nicholson (Coastal Christian), Jason Roma (Coastal Christian), Donnie Stith (Salem/Tulane). Markus Mitchell (Salem), Scotty Reynolds (Herndon) Brad Ferrell (Herndon) Lynwood Hurdle (Meadowbrook), Ben Finney (IC Norcom), Josiah Whitehead (IC Norcom), Scotty Reynolds (Herndon), Brad Ferrell (Herndon), Markus Mitchell (Salem/Mt. St. Mary's), Tory Greene (Salem) Dennis Conley (Nansemond-River)

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