Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gordon Makes an All-Star Impression

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Gordon Makes an All-Star Impression

Article excerpt

BASKETBALL: Austin Gordon wins MVP with 25 points

BRADENTON -- What happens when a prospect loudly announces his arrival -- and almost no one is there to hear it?

In the case of Manatee High senior Austin Gordon, it will be interesting to find out.

Gordon -- 6-foot-6, 205 pounds and unsigned -- dominated Saturday's Manatee-Sarasota Police Athletic League Senior Showcase at Bayshore High School with 15 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocked shots, two late dunks and a game-saving block of Venice's Zach Flerlage on the final play of regulation.

The result was Gordon's first win of the season, 111-103 in overtime.

His Hurricanes lost every time they took the court.

"I just want to go to college somewhere and succeed," said Gordon, who transferred from Palmetto midway through his junior year. "Football is my first love, but I'm pretty good at basketball, too."

Ya think?

"If someone who is a developer of talent gets him, watch out," said Bayshore coach Shawn Campbell, who coached the Manatee All- Stars. "He has all the physical tools anyone would ever need. I'm telling you, we could have won a state championship (at Bayshore) with him.

"He needs some work, but give him a year. There's no excuse for him to not be playing college basketball somewhere."

Getting the word out might be difficult, though. There were no college coaches of any kind -- Gordon will likely go the junior- college route -- at Saturday's games and very few area high school coaches among the 200 or so in attendance. Something about a Final Four. ...

Gordon, meanwhile, wrapped up game-MVP honors with 10 points and 13 rebounds -- before halftime.

"When I get into a game, I'm just a different person," he said. "I have my own mode."

Even his teammates were impressed.

"He plays good against good competition," said Lakewood Ranch's Brian Cobb, who had 13 points and 13 boards in only the seventh game of his season, which began late due to a torn ACL in his left knee. …

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