Bishop Gorman’s Stephen Zimmerman is generally regarded as one of the top five prospects for the Class of 2015. But for a while Wednesday night, he was only the second best player on the court during his team’s game at the LeBron James Skills Academy at the Cashman Center.
Late in the first half, the fellow the event is named after showed up and decided to sub in and play a few minutes on Zimmerman’s squad.
“That’s pretty cool,” Zimmerman said of sharing the court with King James. “It’s a blessing to be here. It’s a great opportunity. To be able to play with the best player in the world is amazing.”
James, fresh off his much-anticipated free agency meeting with Miami Heat officials including president Pat Riley, checked into parts of all four games that were being played simultaneously on four courts by 80 of the nation’s top prep players.
James teamed up with the 6-foot-11 Zimmerman for the UConn squad for the final five minutes of the first half of the team’s eventual 62-60 loss to Team Syracuse. LeBron scored just one free throw during that time, preferring to pass instead on most of his team’s offensive possessions.
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“He was at our table and I was like I didn’t know what he was trying to do,” Zimmerman said of the surprise sub. “Then he came in and automatically I was like, ‘Bron, who do you have?’ And he said, ‘I got here.’ And I felt really cool doing that.”
It was just another highlight during what is becoming a very memorable summer for Zimmerman. Last month he was a key member on the USA Basketball Under-18 National Team that went 5-0 and claimed the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship gold medal in Colorado Springs.
My unofficial stats had Zimmerman finishing with eight points, six rebounds and five blocks in Wednesday night’s contest which was witnessed by Runnin’ Rebels head coach Dave Rice and top assistant Todd Simon. The camp runs through Saturday.
Zimmerman, who has narrowed his potential college choices to eight schools – UNLV, UCLA, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana – talks about his college timetable as well as the chance to play with LeBron in the VIDEO above. Unfortunately, camp rules prohibit any game-action video being taken.
Centennial sophomore guard Troy Brown and Findlay Prep guard Dillon Brooks are the only other players from Nevada taking part in the camp that also includes ESPN.com’s No. 1-ranked prospect, 6-foot-10 Ivan Rabb of Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, as well as the nation’s No. 1 guard prospect, Malik Newman of Callaway, Miss.