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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Bob_Richards'S COLUMNS

PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL RECRUITING:
Ije Nwankwo named MVP of Detroit holiday tournament


Detroit Country Day is off to a 5-1 start.


Date: 1/04/2003
Author: Bob_Richards
Bob_Richards

    Detroit Country Day is out to a 5-1 start.

    Purdue signee Ije Nwankwo led Country Day (1-0) with 21 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in their season opener.

    Ije followed with a double-double in a 73-62 win at Birmingham Seaholm. He scored 13 points and added 12 rebounds.

    Ije was injured in an overtime loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary's (3-0), when he collided with St. Mary's guard Andre Ratliff. Ratliff's head contacted Ije's mouth, causing significant bleeding which forced him to leave the game with one minute remaining. DCD would lose the overtime game 64-56. Nwankwo led DCD with 18 points.

    The next big test for DCD was the annual Motor City Roundball Classic holiday basketball tournament. Four straight years of tournament failures preceeded last years title by DCD. Returning as the defending tournament champions, DCD would again take the championship by fighting through two Canadian teams and one from Ohio.

    The tournament began with a blow out of Windsor (Ontario) Herman (11-2), 74-33. Ije had 12 points as part of a very balanced scoring evening by DCD. Gerome Hunter led DCD with 14 points, followed by Mark Coury with 13, Ije, and Billy Nelson's 11.

    The next evening brought Ohio Cincinnati Hughes. Nwankwo had 18 points and 11 rebounds for DCD (4-1) in the 54-48 victory.

    The two wins set up a final game against Canadian-based Father Henry Carr. Henry Carr is led by arguably Canada's top post prospect, junior Theo Davis. However, Davis could not stop Ije or DCD as they posted a 76-47 victory. Davis left the game in the third quarter with an ankle sprain with his team already down 10 points. That DCD lead would grow to 16 by the end of the third quarter, and expand to the final 29-point margin.

    Ije finished with his best overall game of the season with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. Theo Davis had 10 points and nine rebounds before leaving the game in the third. Junior guard Billy Nelson, who finished with 17 points and five boards, and Ije both made the all-tournament team, with Ije winning the tournament MVP award.


As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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