Tom Diener, the coach at Milwaukee's Vincent High School, thinks he knows where Martell Webster will play basketball next year, and it's not in the Pac-10. "The kid's going to...
FORT MYERS, Fla. Tom Diener, the coach at Milwaukee’s Vincent High School, thinks he knows where Martell Webster will play basketball next year, and it’s not in the Pac-10.
“The kid’s going to be in the NBA next year,” said Diener, whose team lost 60-54 last night in the Bank of America City of Palms Classic to a Seattle Prep team led by Webster’s season-high 37 points.
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Webster, who signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Washington next season, made 13 of 19 field-goal attempts, including 5 of 10 three-point shots. He made 6 of 9 free throws and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Milwaukee Vincent (4-1) is ranked 16th in USA Today’s Super 25 national rankings. Seattle Prep (7-0) just missed being nationally ranked.
The victory propelled Seattle Prep into the tournament semifinals at 6:15 p.m. PST today against Lakes (8-0) of Palm Beach, Fla. The Florida team, ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 6A, won its tournament opener over South Gwinnett, Ga., ranked second in USA Today’s Super 25.
Milwaukee Vincent’s Diener was impressed by Seattle Prep, and by Webster’s future.
“I don’t think he can play much better than he played tonight. All of those shots he made were contested. We did a great job of getting a hand on every shot,” he said.
“I can’t imagine a better high school player in the United States than him. He’s got an NBA body. He’s just huge. Some of these kids can’t make the jump. But Martell’s ready.”
Told of Diener’s comments, Webster said, “I’m glad somebody recognizes that.”
But Webster said he intends to accept his scholarship and play for the Huskies next fall.
“A lot of people make the mistake of coming out too early. I don’t want to be a victim of that.”
Milwaukee Vincent was a victim of Webster last night.
“I kind of felt a rhythm,” Webster said. “I wasn’t trying to take over the game. I wanted to make a difference. I felt like I was in a comfort zone.”
Vincent had trailed by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter. An inside move by 6-7 Marcus Landry cut Seattle Prep’s lead to 58-54 with 30.8 seconds remaining. Spencer Hawes, a 6-11 junior who had 35 points in Prep’s tournament opener Saturday, sealed the Panthers’ victory with a slam dunk.
“I was proud of our kids,” Diener said. “We hung in there. We had it down to four points with 30 seconds left. We gave ourselves a chance, but in the end, we ran into a buzzsaw a buzzsaw named Martell Webster.”