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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2001

Vinson caps busy hoops summer

LHS senior receiving interest from Div. I basketball programs

August 18, 2001

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Stephen Vinson lives and breathes basketball.

Now, the Lawrence High senior is trying to catch his breath after a whirlwind summer, ranging from trips to Las Vegas and Pennsylvania.

"It seems as if I never stopped playing," said Vinson, an all-Sunflower League performer for LHS in 2000-01.

Vinson, a 6-foot-3 point guard/shooting guard, shook off a groin injury early in the summer and recovered in time to shine at the Five-Star Basketball Camp in mid-July at Robert Morris College in Pennsylvania. He made an all-tournament team at the camp and was the lone player out of approximately 100 in his age group to receive the 13-station award, which recognizes the top player for overall skills.

"Howard Garfinkel (camp founder) gives it to the player he thinks works the hardest," Vinson said. "I was pretty honored to receive that. He made me feel pretty special."

Previous winners of the camp's station award are Michael Jordan, Grant Hill and Vince Carter.

Vinson's AAU team, the Sport2Sport Jayhawks also thrived, reaching the final 32 of the adidias Big Time tournament in late July in Las Vegas.

"Any head college coach you could name was there," Vinson said.

Because of his exposure this summer, Vinson is receiving recruiting interest from Div. I schools. Baylor, Air Force, Columbia, Davidson, Bucknell, Dartmouth, Santa Clara, South Alabama and Colgate have expressed interest in Vinson. The LHS senior, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, said he has narrowed his list to Baylor, Columbia, Davidson, Santa Clara and Colgate.

"I don't want to force an early decision, but I hope I can find a place to go to early," Vinson said of possibly signing in the fall period. "It's been brought to my attention that it's better to wait, but I wouldn't be afraid to make an early decision."

Vinson, who was a tri-sophomore of the year in the Sunflower League during the 1999-2000 season, averaged 12.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a junior for the Lions. He's comfortable playing both guard positions.

"A lot of schools are telling me what I want to hear," he said. "Some are saying they need a point guard and also some want a combo guard."

With Kansas University's abundance of freshman guards, Vinson doesn't figure to receive much interest from the Jayhawks.

"They do have a lot of young guards coming in," Vinson said. "I wouldn't know where I would fit in. If the situation was right for me to fit in, anything right now is a possibility. I hope I can find a place where I really want to play and be excited to go there."

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