Local Prep Star Should Be Ready For Senior Season Despite Breaking Wrist

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - LeBron James, the nation's top high school basketball player, broke his left wrist when he was undercut during a summer AAU game in Chicago and won't be able to play for six to eight weeks.

James, Ohio's Mr. Basketball the past two years who has already been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was attempting a dunk with 11:19 left in a game Saturday when he was bumped by C.J. Walleck, a player for Chicago Rising Stars.

James, who will be a senior this fall at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, landed hard on his wrist. He lay on the floor for several minutes before being taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Eddie Jackson, a friend of the James family, confirmed that James broke his wrist and that he had been told he would be sidelined for up to two months.

"He's OK," Jackson said Sunday. "When he comes back, we'll see everything and go over everything."

After James was hurt, Walleck was ejected and the game was canceled.

"I feel terrible," Walleck told the Akron Beacon Journal. "It was completely an accident. I tried to draw the charge. He came in and he jumped so high that his knee hit my head."

James, who shoots with his right hand, is expected to be ready for his senior season, but he won't be able to play in any of the prestigious summer camps.

The 6-foot-7 James was dubbed "The Chosen One" by SI (magazine cover pictured, above) in a story last winter. He was playing for Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars in the Mac Irvin Summer Basketball Classic at Julian High School.

James averaged 29 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists last season and took St. Vincent-St. Mary to the state finals. He won every major national player of the year award following his junior year.

There had been speculation a year ago that James might sue the NBA so he could make himself eligible for the player draft this summer, but he announced he would stay in school.

James has yet to decide whether he will attend college or go pro after he completes high school.

James worked out recently at Gund Arena with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The NBA fined the Cavs $150,000 and suspended coach John Lucas for the first two games next season for having contact with James.

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