Lakers' O'Neal Causes Stir At Local High School Game

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Local basketball fans were abuzz on Wednesday night over the rumor that Los Angeles Lakers star center Shaquille O'Neal was planning to be at the Akron Saint Vincent-Saint Mary game to see prep phenom LeBron James play.

The game sold out quickly, and scalpers were reportedly selling tickets for more than three times their face value.

The excitement went up a notch late in the second quarter when several security guards gathered at the entrance under the scoreboard. The crowd stood up in anticipation.

Just before halftime, O'Neal (pictured sitting at the game, above) strode into the arena. Thunderous applause broke out. There was such a commotion that Orange head coach Ron Hoyt called a time out.

The Lakers were in town for a game against the Cavs at Gund Arena on Thursday night.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)