EA Roundball Sure To Be A Classic
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EA Roundball Sure To Be A Classic

The Real Brain
March 24, 2004

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The EA Roundball Classic is back for the 40th time March 24th at the United Center. Last year, with Lebron James on tap, the game drew a record crowd of 19,678 drooling fans to see James put his skills on display. Even though King James will not be playing this year, the talent pool is deeper in this year’s game. The games founder and director, the legendary Sonny Vaccaro said, ” This high school class is the best since 1979,” and it is hard to disagree with him.

Vaccaro said as many as 10 to 12 of the players could get drafted in this year’s NBA draft. If you need further proof, at Monday’s practice at the Moody Bible Institute, more then 30 NBA owners, scouts, and general managers attended. Chicago Bulls GM John Paxson, who is not a big believer in players jumping from high school to the NBA was on tap as well. In the past, Paxson has been noted for saying that the jump from high school to the NBA hurts the college game as well as the NBA from a competition stand point. Even with that said, Paxson knows that his presence there is necessary because this is the way of todays game.

Vaccaro knows that he doesn’t have a player with the magnitude of Lebron James, but Dwright Howard, the number one player in the nation will be in attendance. Howard is expected to go #1 or #2 in the NBA draft this summer with many touting him as the next Amare Stoudamire (Phoenix Suns). He averages close to 24 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks for a team that competes in a small Georgia conference, but plays many of the top teams from the state as well as around the country. Scout Bob Gibbons, from the All-Star Scouting report, who divided the squads to make them equal among talent and height said, “He is the most highly-rated player in the country, and will be the top high school player selected in the draft.”

Illinois will have it’s fair share of players, with our number one player, Shaun Livingston in attendence, as well as Seton Hall recruit Justin Cerasoli, and one of the most sought after unsigned players in the game, 6’6″ Calvin Brock. “It feels great to be selected to play against other top players around the country,” Calvin Brock said after being selected. Dribbling wizard Justin Cerasoli is looking to put his game on display, and excite the crowd with many of his great moves. He is also looking foward to playing against good friend Shaun Livingston, “it will be fun to be out there again with Shaun one more time,” Justin said. Shaun Livingston, who is headed to Duke, is going to the game for a little fun. He recently led his team to their second consecutive Class AA State Championship. “I’m here to enjoy myself, not to impress anybody from the NBA,” Livingston said. This year, he happens to be the minority.

For 39 years Sonny Vaccaro has garnered the most talented players in the nation, and have locked them inside a gym for thousands of fans to be mesmerized and entertained, and this year should not be any different. Even with playground legend Sebastian Telfair(New York Lincoln) not playing in the game, this should be one of the greatest all-star events ever. Vaccaro has not only fulfilled his dream by bringing us such an event, but he is fulfilling the dream of every one involved. From the fans, to the players, to writers, and even the players parents, Vicaro has presented us all with an exhibition that is not often lived up to. “The crowd and support we got from Chicago for last year’s game made me younger,” Vaccaro said. Sonny Vaccaro you continue to make the fans of this game younger every year, and we thank you. Vaccaro has compiled a list of the 40 most influential people of the the event. He was missing one person. Himself. Reporting on behalf of Chicagohoops.com, I am the Real Brain.