LeBron James suffers broken wrist

June 9, 2002 at 2:56 PM

CHICAGO, June 9 (UPI) -- 17-year-old LeBron James, generally considered the best high school basketball player in the county, will be down for as many as eight weeks after suffering a broken left wrist while taking part in a summer league contest in Chicago Saturday night.

The 6-8 James hurt himself when he landed on his back after a breakaway dunk attempt and tried to break his fall with his left hand. He was accidentally undercut by an opposing player, C.J. Walleck, who told the Chicago Tribune that he was shocked that James started the dunk some 15 feet from the basket.

The Tribune report said Walleck apologized to James as he lay on the floor, writhing in pain. The game was halted at that point because of concerns about Walleck's safety if play continued.

"I'm not the kind of player who tries to take a player out," Walleck told the Tribune. "I was going to jump, but he was so far out I tried to take a charge and he jumped so high he flew right over me."

An emergency room nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital confirmed that James had a broken wrist. He likely will not be able to play from 6-8 weeks.

The Akron, Ohio native has generated a huge buzz because of his hoops prowess and athleticism, and was a Sports Illustrated cover boy last fall. Some scouts have even said that if he were eligible, he is talented enough to be the No. 1 overall pick in this month's annual NBA Draft.

Because he still has scholastic eligibility, which makes him ineligible for the draft, the NBA recently fined the Cleveland Cavaliers for allowing him to participate in an open workout for college-aged players and NBA free agents, and suspended Coach John Lucas for the first two games of the 2002-03 season.

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