Bronny James and Sierra Canyon beat Kiyan Anthony’s group

Dru Joyce II knew what he was in for as quickly as LeBron James spoke up.

Again in February 2002, the identify Carmelo Anthony existed largely within the “magic of the unknown,” as James’ former teammate Romeo Travis put it, to most of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Excessive in Akron. However James, who’d performed USA basketball over the summer time with the mysterious 6-foot-8 child from Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy, knew.

The evening earlier than the vaunted matchup between James and Anthony that helped remodel fashionable highschool basketball, the 2 have been chopping it up in the identical lodge room, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith remembered. And went at one another’s necks the following evening.

“Hey, Coach Dru,” Joyce remembered James telling him, “he’s really good.”

That was the second 20 years in the past when Joyce knew he wanted to be apprehensive, James and Anthony buying and selling dunks and 30-point video games one particular February evening to comply with.

And 20 years later, a 38-year-old James ducked by the facet door in Sierra Canyon’s Chatsworth health club Monday evening to see the following era of James tackle Anthony’s son Kiyan and New York’s Christ the King Excessive.

However the reunion, ending in a 62-51 Sierra Canyon win, was nothing like the unique.

That February 2002 sport was televised on a now-defunct community previously broadcasting in just a few states throughout the East. This sport was on ESPN2, Kim Kardashian sitting courtside in a camo swimsuit and dancing throughout a timeout, a flock of cameras following Kiyan Anthony and Bronny James’ each transfer as their dads sat courtside.

“It just speaks volumes about the game of high school basketball and how it’s matured and grown into something that can have a national presence,” Joyce stated.

Twenty years after taking part in him, a still-awestruck Travis spoke of the then-18-year-old Carmelo Anthony like an ethereal basketball deity, calling him probably the most expert highschool participant he’d ever seen.

However there was no magic of the unknown instantly revealed at Sierra Canyon on Monday evening. This was future, Bronny’s and Kiyan’s spotlight reels unfold throughout the web since they have been in center college. No sense of thriller as to Bronny’s out-of-the-gym hops and Kiyan’s silky scoring capacity.

And with the eyes of a standing-room-only health club and numerous media shops following, the stress they’re below is a era completely different too.

“I feel for Kiyan and Bronny … they don’t play well, people will go, ‘Ahhh, they’re not very good,’” stated Steve Smith, Carmelo’s former coach at Oak Hill Academy, who sat courtside.

And thru the primary half, it appeared as if the naysayers would come once more, Bronny lacking just a few pictures and Kiyan wanting a 12 months too younger at 15, scoring simply eight factors off the bench in opposition to a stout Trailblazers protection.

After a monstrous tomahawk by Bronny, an 18-year-old senior, within the first quarter that had his dad gleefully yelling, No. 0 went quiet for a lot of the primary half. The Trailblazers held Christ the King to 17 factors in taking a 10-point halftime lead.

However after all of the hype of a Bronny-Kiyan matchup, Trailblazers junior Isaiah Elohim seized the evening and didn’t look again.

Early within the third quarter, Christ the King’s Brandon Williams elevated for what may’ve been an earth-shattering slam —besides Elohim met him on the high and threw his try again. A pair performs later, he went to his bread-and-butter mid-range jumper and loudly clapping his palms on the way in which down the ground.

It was a quiet first couple video games for Elohim, one of the vital gifted gamers within the nation slowly ramping again up to the mark after he harm a knee on the finish of final season. There have been darkish moments, he stated. However he’s close to 100% now — and with 17 factors Monday evening, cementing himself as Sierra Canyon’s most suitable choice for a go-to bucket.

“I’ve always felt like I’m the best player in anything that I’m doing,” Elohim stated, requested the way it felt to claim himself with James-Anthony the featured matchup. “Every game that I go to.”

Bronny, although, has had a aptitude for the second all season. And even in a comparatively quiet sport, he made third-quarter magic: ridiculous layup, alley-oop slam, nook three. Elohim added a few buckets within the fourth, 7-footer Majok Chuol chipped in just a few robust layups, and the Trailblazers closed the door.