Ellington Lights Up at adidas Superstar Camp
Total 2005 Summer Hoop Camp coverage
SUWANEE, Ga. — Basketball fans in North Carolina must be grateful for David Stern.
Especially if they were in the stands at the adidas Superstar Camp Wednesday considering a pair of top recruits who have committed to North Carolina-based schools put forth some the most dominant performances at the camp.
Thanks to the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, which includes a clause Stern pushed hard for that bans players from putting their names in the draft until at least a year out of high school, both Wayne Ellington and Michael Beasley will be playing college ball in the Tar Heel State sometime soon even though both were considered legit preps-to-pros candidates.
Ellington, a Class of 2006 shooting guard out of Episcopal Academy (Merion, Pa.), has committed to North Carolina. Charlotte, meanwhile, has already locked up Beasley, a Class of 2007 small forward out of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).
Ellington scored the first nine points for his Louisville-nicknamed team Wednesday morning en route to a session-high 32 points.
"I just caught fire at the beginning," said Ellington, who scored the bulk of his points on outside shots at first before showing off his slashing skills. "My favorite way to score is my jump shot, but I can't rely on that too much."
Beasley, meanwhile, dropped 24 points Wednesday morning for his team, dubbed Virginia Tech. Focused on making the switch from power forward to small forward or even shooting guard, Beasley also managed to dish out four assists in his team's loss.
Both were phenomenal Tuesday night as well, as Ellington dropped 21 and Beasley went off for 23 points.
Duo's split up
As impressive as Beasley and Ellington have been, their prep partners in crime haven't been too shabby either.
Ellington's running mate at Episcopal, Gerald Henderson, scored a session-high 25 points and grabbed six rebounds Tuesday night, while Beasley's running mate at Oak Hill, Nolan Smith, got assists on several of Beasley's points both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Smith and Beasley, who transferred to Oak Hill after playing together at Riverdale Baptist (Md.) last season, were paired up for the duration of the camp, but Henderson and Ellington were split up.
"We got lucky I guess," Beasley said.
"I don't know why that happened man," Ellington said.
Twin towers Robin and Brook Lopez out of San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) were also split up for the Superstar Camp even though have both committed to Stanford.
Separated from his brother, Brook managed to stand alone Wednesday morning, recording 27 points and eight boards in the morning session. Robin also grabbed eight rebounds Wednesday morning.
In the stands
A few established NBA stars made appearances Wednesday as well.
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith was seen mingling in the crowd and obliging to several photo requests.
An Atlanta native, Smith was named senior MVP of adidas' camp in 2003.
Utah Jazz bruiser Carlos Boozer was also in the stands Wednesday, taking in several games.