Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stunning Field(s) Is in Place for Prep Basketball Shootout

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stunning Field(s) Is in Place for Prep Basketball Shootout

Article excerpt

Kevin Edwards, National Basketball Association guard, was sizing up Ronnie Fields, high school player.

The setting was the NIKE Festival in Chicago last summer, where amateurs and pros mingle. The crowd was engrossed in this tournament matchup between established wage-earner and hometown wannabe.

Confident he could have his way with Fields, the New Jersey Nets' Edwards irreverently skied for one of his finely honed jump shots. But, instead of watching the ball gracefully descend into the net, Edwards watched in amazement as the shot was slapped aside like a pesky fly. The crowd cheered wildly.

"I think that really surprised him," Fields said. "Next time, he thought he'd teach me a lesson."

Next time, the seasoned Edwards faked the jump shot, pulling the eager 17-year old off his feet. Edwards sped past on his way to the basket and matter-of-factly scooped the ball to the backboard . . . where it was smothered by Fields, who came swooping in from out of the blue.

"He thought I'd just give up and he'd lay the ball in," Fields said. "I came from behind and wiped the ball off the backboard."

Speechless, Edwards looked over at Golden State guard Tim Hardaway, who shrugged and said: "Oh, you didn't know about that guy?"

Those on hand for the 15th anniversary Coca-Cola/KMOX Shootout on Dec. 7 at Kiel Center will know about Fields before the evening is finished. The Chicago Farragut senior and his teammates will meet DeSmet High at 9 p.m. in the final gem of the seven-game affair. The stunning list of luminaries in the high school showcase includes 12 early signees to major NCAAA Division I schools and several candidates for the national high school player of the year award.

There will be big men, such as 6 feet 9 Lester Earl of Baton Rouge Glen Oaks, little men such as 6-2 Michael Bibby of Phoenix Shadow Mountain, and local men such as Cardinal Ritter's 6-7 forward Chris Carrawell. …

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