Top GW recruit Ricky Lucas shines in regional all-star game

Next season’s highest-ranked recruit for the GW men’s basketball team gave fans a glimpse of the future Thursday night at the MCI Center. Ricky Lucas, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Herndon, Va., had 11 points and nine rebounds despite playing a team-low 14 minutes in the regional game of the 30th annual Jordan Capital Classic.

The exhibition game featured the top talents from the D.C. area and included two sons of famous athletes – Patrick Ewing Jr. and D.J. Strawberry, who will play next year at Indiana and Maryland, respectively. Georgetown-bound point guard Matt Causey, named Most Valuable Player, drew the loudest cheers of the game with his behind-the-back passes, tallying 13 points, eight assists and four steals.

Lucas, who led Herndon High School with 24 points per game this year, shot 4-for-9 from the field and said it was difficult to find his shooting rhythm given the sloppy and frenetic play typical of an all-star game.

“My jumper wasn’t falling,” he said. “But it’s all right, you have to make things happen yourself.”

After making the starting lineup, Lucas scored all of his points in the first half and played only five minutes in the second half. But the lanky guard made the most of his time, as his nine rebounds led the White team, which won 108-86.

One of the more surprising plays of the game came when Lucas went up for a breakaway dunk but was fouled hard by 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward Marcus Sikes. Lucas crashed to the floor and sat for several seconds before getting up but said after the game that he was fine.

“I expected him to let me go, but I guess it was for the love of the game,” he said. “I’m not worried about injuries. I’m just worried about going out and having fun.”

Lucas will be stepping into a position next year that has been held by GW’s all-time leading scorer, Chris Monroe, for the past four years. But Lucas said he is undaunted by the challenge and is eager to start working out with the Colonials this summer.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to work hard and step in and do it.”

The MCI Center was filled to capacity with 20,674 fans by the second half of the regional game in anticipation of the national game that followed. It featured high school celebrity and likely No. 1 NBA Draft pick LeBron James of Akron, Ohio.

Playing in front of an audience that included Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Sr., Spike Lee, Super Bowl Champion Warren Sapp and NCAA men’s basketball champion Carmelo Anthony, James put on a show in his last amateur game. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward scored a game-high 34 points and 12 rebounds and was named co-MVP of the game despite his Silver team’s 107-102 loss to the Black team.

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