LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ogdensburg’s Kinnon LaRose picked a perfect time to deliver his first double-double of the Nike EYBL spring-summer circuit as the Albany City Rocks won their opening game in the AAU National Championship Tournament on Wednesday.
LaRose, who has been playing with the City Rocks since April, shortly after OFA’s run to the New York State Class B Final Four, delivered 18 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and one assist in a 78-55 victory over the GBoyz of Michigan.
On Thursday the 2-0 City Rocks downed the Ohio Cougars 64-61 to set up a important game with the Florida Tar Heels today at 4 p.m. In Thursday’s game LaRose tallied five points, grabbed 10 rebounds and passed out three assists.
LaRose suffered through an uncharacteristic cold shooting night culminating with two missed free throws with 10 seconds to play and the Rocks leading 63-61. But he sealed the win with a very in-character big play grabbing the rebound on the second miss.
The City Rocks carried a 10-point lead into the final two minutes but missed seven free throws as a team creating a scramble situation in the closing seconds.
The national tournament is being staged at the Kentucky Exposition Center and involves 298 teams playing on 18 courts. The Expo Center is located in a complex which includes iconic “Freedom Hall” which has hosted some of the greatest games in the history of college basketball.
The City Rocks are one of 100 teams in Division I of the 11th Grade Division. One hundred teams are all playing for a spot in the championship game on Monday which will be televised nationally by ESPN III.