CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It didn’t really dawn on Shabazz Muhammad until he walked into Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., to play in the Jordan Brand Classic on Saturday, but when he thought about the fact that this was the last time he’d get the chance to lace 'em up as a high schooler, he could think of only one thing.
“It was important for me to finish strong,” said Muhammad, a UCLA-bound swingman at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). “This was the last time to go out and showcase what you can do with all of your friends, so it was important to finish strong and have fun.”
Muhammad had a ball leading the West past the East 99-95. He scored 20 points and grabbed four rebounds en route to claiming the West’s MVP trophy.
Rodney Purvis, a shooting guard at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), was named MVP for the East after scoring 22 points in the loss.
“We all had a lot of fun this week, but it was definitely important to go out with a strong performance,” Purvis said. “You want to set the tone for what you’re gonna do next season. Since I was playing in front of my hometown fans from NC State, I wanted to put on a good show.”
Noel’s Influx Of Followers
So much for the myth that once you commit to a college, you lose Twitter followers due to the fans of the schools you didn’t pick clicking the “unfollow” button.
When Nerlens Noel, a center at Tilton (Tilton, N.H.), announced Wednesday night on ESPNU that he was going to Kentucky, his Twitter-follower numbers skyrocketed from 23,000 to 38,000 that very night.
As of Saturday, he was up to 44,000 and counting.
“That’s the power of Big Blue Nation,” said Noel, who suited up for the East. “I knew they would have my back. That’s a major reason that I picked Kentucky. You can’t find better fans anywhere else on the planet.”
Parker Ready To Decide
Looks like we’re finally going to find out where Tony Parker is headed for college.
Parker, who is considering Duke, Ohio State, Georgia, UCLA, Georgetown, Kansas and Memphis, said he’ll make his decision late next week at his school.
“I haven’t worked out all of the details yet, but next week is the week,” said Parker, a forward at Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) who suited up for the East. “I’m just ready to get it over with. It’s been a long process, and I’m ready for it to be over. I’m still weighing things out, but I gave myself 'til next week. That’s when it’s happening.”
Bennett For Three
On April 7, after Team USA battled back from an 18-point deficit, World Select forward Anthony Bennett buried a 3-pointer, which was deep by NBA standards, to thwart any chance of a USA win. World Select went on to win 84-75 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
At practice for the Jordan Brand Classic, Bennett, a senior forward at Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), re-enacted the big shot during water breaks, taunting the eight All-Americans who had suited up for Team USA.
“It was a pretty good shot, huh?” Bennett said. “That thing was pretty!”
None of the other players agreed. Go figure.
Harrell Leads East
Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) forward Montrezl Harrell scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the East past the West 84-82 in the Jordan Brand Regional game.
Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) forward Montay Brandon led the West with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.