UA recruit shines in McDonald's game

By The Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 1, 1996

PITTSBURGH - Stephen Jackson missed only two shots while scoring 21 points, several on feeds from MVP Shaheen Holloway, and the East beat the West 120-105 yesterday in the McDonald's All-America high school game.

Jackson, a 6-foot-7 Arizona recruit from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, made eight of 10 shots and all four free throws in a loosely structured game in which dunks were numerous and defense was visibly absent.

All 20 players played approximately 20 minutes apiece, resulting in a free-form game in which dunks (27), turnovers (65) and pro scouts (8) were prevalent. This is a dead period under NCAA recruiting rules, and college coaches were not permitted to attend .

Most of the pro scouts were lured by Kobe Bryant, the highly publicized 6-foot-6 Philadelphia star who may follow Kevin Garnett by bypassing college and jumping directly to the NBA. Bryant, the son of former Philadelphia 76ers player ''Jelly Bean'' Joe Br yant, had 13 points, three rebounds and three steals and was one of eight East players to score in double figures.

Bryant said the game will not influence his decision whether to turn pro NBA scouts are divided whether his game is advanced enough for so drastic a leap - and he will decide later this month or early in May.

Nate James, the winner of the pregame 3-point shooting contest, had 15 points and eight rebounds for the East, and 6-9 Vassil Evtimov, the son of a European pro player, had 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Evtimov's father flew from France to watch his son play in America for the first time.

Winfred Walton, who overcame preseason knee surgery to average 28 points at Pershing (Mich.) High, led the West with 21 points, but also had a team-high seven turnovers. Corey Benjamin, of Fontana, Calif., scored 17 points and Mike Bibby, the son of forme r UCLA star Henry Bibby, had 15 points and five assists.