COLUMBUS - Even though he's only a sophomore, LeBron James already has had a stellar high-school career.
A second-team All-Ohio selection a year ago, he was announced yesterday as the player of the year on the 2000-2001 Associated Press Division III all-state boys basketball team.
Named to the Division III third team were Liberty-Benton's Brady Hoane and Elmwood's Brian Oestreich.
James, a 6-61/2 swingman, was the clear choice by a state panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
He averaged 25.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists a game as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary captured its second consecutive AP regular-season poll. The Irish, who won the state championship a year ago, are heavy favorites to repeat at this week's state championships at Value City Arena.
The Irish (24-1) take on Wayne Trace (24-1) in tomorrow's second game. In the first game of the 79th annual tournament, Belpre (23-3) meets Casstown Miami East (24-2). The championship is at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Joining James on the first team is Miami East's Travis Mumma, a 6-3 junior who averages 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game.
Rounding out the first team are: Dashon Harper of Columbus Ready (5-11, jr., 23.9), Wickliffe's Dustin Kinney (6-7, sr., 20.0), Wheelersburg's Andrew Burleson (6-6, jr., 27.5), Ontario's Benji Hall (6-3, sr., 20.3) and Dave Kurzen of Massillon Tuslaw (6-6, sr., 21.9).
Olmsted Falls' Mike Gansey, one of the top players in the state, is also the top player in Division II on the All-Ohio team.
Ottawa-Glandorf's Todd Schumaker is on the third team.
Gansey is a 6-5 senior who averaged 27.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 4.1 steals a game this season while shooting 61 percent from the field. During his career, the St. Bonaventure signee hit 58.6 percent of his shots while piling up almost 2,000 points.
The coach of the year was Bill Eddins, who guided Louisville High School to its first unbeaten regular season in 76 years of boys basketball.
Joining Gansey on the first team are Kettering Alter's Adam Waleskowski, a 6-8 senior, and 6-5 senior Derek Fey of No. 2-ranked Willard.
Their teams will be playing tomorrow at the boys state semifi-nals at Value City Arena. Alter (23-2) meets Columbus East (16-8) at 6 p.m., followed by Willard (24-1) against defending champion Warrensville Heights (24-1).
Waleskowski, headed to Florida State, averages 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. Fey hits for 17.1 points and 10.1 rebounds a game.
The rest of the first team includes Tony Borhese of Columbus DeSales (5-11, sr., 19.4), Cambridge's Adam Davenport (6-6, sr., 22.0), Steubenville's Brian Radakobich (6-8, sr., 19.1), Jason Farkas of Louisville (6-0, sr., 18.7), Tallmadge's John Maddox (5-10, sr., 21.4), Josh Garrison of poll champion Wooster Triway (6-2, sr., 21.4), and Dustin Pfeifer of Washington Court House (5-8, jr., 22.3).
Willard sophomore Nick Dials made the second team.
Featured on the second team are three other state-bound players: Willard's Nick Dials (6-1, soph., 22.2), Columbus East's Tihon Johnson (6-3, sr., 20.0) and J.K. Brooks of Warrensville Heights (5-10, sr., 20.0).
ST. LOUIS - LeBron James of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has been chosen as sophomore player of the year by The Sporting News.
St. Vincent-St. Mary is 51-1 in James' two seasons, with its only loss coming to Oak Hill (Va.) Academy - one of the best high school teams in the country - in the National Hoops Classic in Columbus in January.
The Sporting News also chose Kelvin Torbert, a 6-4 guard from Flint, Mich., as its senior player of the year.
Other first-team seniors announced Tuesday were Eddy Curry, a center from Thornwood High School in South Holland, Ill.; guard Dajuan Wagner of Camden, N.J., High School; forward Kwame Brown of Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga.; and center Tyson Chandler of Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif.
The St. Louis-based publication, in its March 26 issue, also selected Shavlik Randolph, a forward from Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., as junior player of the year.