Game Over In 1986 SI sized up the nation's top sixth-through 12th-graders. How did they grade out? Three reached the NBA, but only one is still playing

July 11, 2004

MARCUS LIBERTY
Age 35

THEN: Attracted LeBron-like hype as a senior at King High. "Could
be Chicago's best ever," SI wrote.

SINCE THEN: Played two seasons for Illinois before entering the
1990 NBA draft, in which he was a second-round pick of the Denver
Nuggets. Never averaged more than 9.3 points in four seasons with
the Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons. Now an instructor at the
Bulls-Sox Academy in Chicago, a basketball and baseball academy
owned by Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry
Reinsdorf.

ALONZO MOURNING
Age 34

THEN: "Best big man since Kareem," Five Star co-director Howard
Garfinkel said of the 6'10" junior from Chesapeake, Va.

SINCE THEN: Two-time All-America averaged 16.7 points and 8.6
rebounds in four seasons at Georgetown. Taken second overall in
the 1992 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. Seven-time All-Star
and two-time defensive player of the year ended his latest
comeback in November due to complications from focal segmental
glomerulosclerosis, a kidney disease.

KENNY ANDERSON
Age 33

THEN: "Compares favorably with Nate Archibald and Pearl
Washington," SI wrote of the 10th-grader from Archbishop Milloy
High in Queens.

SINCE THEN: Two-time all-ACC selection at Georgia Tech was second
overall pick in the 1991 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets. Has
averaged 13.0 points and 6.2 assists over 13 seasons with seven
pro teams. Subject of an upcoming documentary, Disciple of the
Rock, depicting Anderson's life growing up in a single-parent
home in Queens.

DAMON BAILEY
Age 32

THEN: Averaged 30 points per game as an eighth-grader, when he
famously attracted the notice of Bob Knight.

SINCE THEN: Was All-Big Ten as a senior at Indiana University.
Selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 1994
NBA draft, but surgery on both knees prevented him from playing a
minute in the pros. Now co-owner of the Hawkin Bailey Warehouse,
an industrial parts supply company in Bedford, Ind. Co-wrote a
book last year, Damon: Beyond the Glory.

BARNABAS JAMES
Age 31

THEN: Averaged 31 points and 18 rebounds per game as a 6'4''
seventh-grader in Los Angeles.

SINCE THEN: Signed a letter of intent in '90 to play at the
University of New Orleans for future NBA coach Tim Floyd, but
never suited up. Played for three schools (El Camino Junior
College, Delgado J.C. and Division II Cal Poly-Pomona) in four
years, with marginal success. James, a born-again Christian, is
now a general contractor for a construction company in L.A.,
where he lives with his wife, Norma.

BRIAN CROW
Age 30

THEN: "Great prospect if he sticks with hoops," SI wrote of the
Orem, Utah, middle schooler. "Could be an Olympic decathlete."

SINCE THEN: Dropped hoops by his junior year of high school to
concentrate on football, track and the decathlon. Graduated from
Brigham Young in 1999 and earned his MBA there in 2001. Served a
two-year Mormon mission in Croatia and Serbia. Now a father of
three living in Chandler, Ariz., where he's a marketing
coordinator for a chemical management company.

MICHAEL IRVIN
Age 28

THEN: Chicago playground legend averaged 18 points and 10 assists
per game as a fifth-grader. "Great moves, great smile," SI wrote.

SINCE THEN: High school hoops career was sometimes successful (he
helped King High to 32-0 finish as a freshman), often troubled
(he was shot in the arm during a street altercation as a junior).
Last played for Southern Idaho Junior College, in '94. Now helps
his dad, Mac, run Chicago's AAU program, which has produced such
NBA stars as Shawn Marion and Antoine Walker.

COLOR PHOTO: GEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES BOYS TO MEN By any measure, Mourning best lived up to the earlyhype. COLOR PHOTO: ANNE RYAN COLOR PHOTO: AJ/BIG PICTURES USA COLOR PHOTO ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES COLOR PHOTO INDIANAPOLIS STAR Declined to pose for photograph COLOR PHOTO MIKE JONES COLOR PHOTO JASON WISE COLOR PHOTO ANNE RYAN

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)