MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Juwan Staten returned from the LeBron James Skills Academy with an enriched understanding of what it takes to play point guard and a deeper scouting report on some of his Big 12 counterparts.

The West Virginia rising senior, who was among 32 college players and 93 elite high school prospects invited to the four-day camp in Las Vegas, paid particular attention to the six other Big 12 players in attendance.

“You try to pick up some tendencies of theirs,” Staten told the MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” on Tuesday.

Iowa State’s Georges Niang, Kansas State’s Marcus Foster, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, Texas’ Isaiah Taylor and two Kansas players, Perry Ellis and Kelly Oubre, joined Staten in representing the Big 12.

Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer

LeBron James consoles Juwan Staten after Thurgood Marshall lost the 2009 Ohio state final.

Of course all the players represented the hoops world in wondering where James would take his free-agent talents. The King’s choice to return to Cleveland struck a sentimental chord with Staten, the kid from Dayton who five years ago received what might have been the best consolation hug ever given.

Staten had poured in 28 points only to see his high school team lose the 2009 Ohio state championship 59-53 to St. Vincent-St. Mary, James’ alma mater.

“That was the first time I had met him and I was speechless,” Staten recalled of his sobbing postgame embrace with the planet’s best player. “I had just lost the most important game of my life with LeBron watching. I wanted to be celebrating at that point, but we had lost and I put everything I had into it.

“He came up and said he just appreciated me as a player. He told me to keep my head up. He shared some things with me. He told me to remember that feeling and use it as fuel for the next year.”

Listen to Staten’s complete “Sportsline” interview above, including the point guard’s evaluation of how West Virginia’s newcomers are performing.

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  • big harv

    great to read articles like this..Staten and the mountaineers will do well this year.

  • TruthTeller

    I hope James did not request Staten to sell his soul to the devil like he did.

    • Yup

      Why he flashes those triple 6's after that powder goes up. Everyone is so oblivious

    • Mister Man


  • Aaron

    In my humble, Staten should have been the POTY last year and clearly outplayed the 6th overall pick both times WVU faced OK State and Marcus Smart.

    While much can happen between now and the fall, if WV can find some defensive intensity on the perimeter and a few players to hit big shots from a driving Staten, WVU will return to glory with 24 wins and a return to the NCAA tournament.

  • Jim Kinzer

    notice how Larry Jeffords, aka Big Larry, doesn't post in these articles?

  • mark

    Good luck Juwan. Appreciate your talent and work ethic, but love your loyalty.

  • 4WVUinKY

    In Staten, we have both the best player and young man in all of college sports. Stay focused Juwan and continue to lead this team. We are proud of you.

  • VaultHunter

    Great kid and will go down as one of WVU's best point guards.

    Hope my Suns draft him I would love to have him on my fav NBA team.

    But anywhere he ends up he will make us proud #thenextChrisPaul

  • any major dude

    Leave it up to the ultra-competitive Staten to not only learn and grow through this experience, but do a little Big12 scouting at the same time. Juwan is a great role model and we're lucky to call him one of our own.

    • Mister Man

      Without a doubt!!!!