Lakeside basketball player Earl McCrommon won the CSRA All Star Game MVP award. He led the county scoring average with 25 points.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Lakeside might not have had the best luck on the hardwood recently, but for the second straight season a Panthers player was named the most valuable player of the CSRA All Star Game.
Panthers senior Earl McCrommon followed 2004 winner Matt Scott as the game's MVP, even though he scored just six points.
The All Star game capped off an impressive season for the diminutive point guard.
The 5-foot-7 McCrommon won the Columbia County scoring title with an average of 25 points a game. McCrommon also averaged nearly five assists and rebounds a game, while being among his team leaders in blocked shots.
McCrommon, the county's smallest varsity basketball player, was an attraction for many this season who came to see his acrobatic play, which was reminiscent of Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson.
In fact, McCrommon said he learned how to be tough on both offense and defense from taping 76ers' games.
"I am the same kind of player he is," he said recently. "We are both the smallest guys on the court and have to throw our bodies around."
McCrommon, who traveled last week to Houston with his Amateur Athletic Union team the Augusta Skillz, had to suffer through a tough season with Lakeside.
The Panthers had the CSRA's worst record at 1-20, with the lone win coming against an undermanned Westside team.
"There were times where I felt bad for Earl," Lakeside coach Donnie Burch said recently. "He is such a phenomenal talent and plays with so much energy and heart. But the results never came on the scoreboard. It was tough, I'm sure for him and all of our players, but everyone stayed upbeat all season."
One of McCrommon's highlight games came against Greenbrier late in the season, in which he scored 31 points and made seven 3-pointers, leading Lakeside back from a 24-fourth quarter deficit to trail by four points.
Greenbrier ended up winning 82-71.
McCrommon also scored 36 and 22 points against Evans during a two-game span in one week.
"(McCrommon) is such a phenomenal player," said Evans coach Kevin Kenny after the second Lakeside-Evans game. "I told him after the game to keep his head up because he will be playing at the next level."
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