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'Must-see' game featuring Terps commit draws a crowd — including LeBron James

Ahead of Wednesday’s girls basketball game between Jackson and McKinley high schools, the matchup was being billed by the local newspaper in Canton, Ohio, as “must-see.”

On the court would be Jackson senior guard Taylor Mikesell, a Team USA member and Maryland signee, and McKinley junior guard Kierstan Bell, a top-five recruit and the reigning Ohio Ms. Basketball.

“If you’re a Jackson fan or a McKinley fan or just a fan of basketball, you have to be at Jackson High School,” Jackson coach Anthony Butch told The Repository.

So LeBron James showed up.

The NBA superstar has a home in Bath Township, northwest of Akron and not that far of a drive to Jackson High School. His son, LeBron Jr., used to play for a local Amateur Athletic Union youth basketball coach who’s friends with Mikesell. And then there was the appeal of the game itself.

“People kept telling me he wanted to come watch me play,” Mikesell told The Repository.

So while maybe the game’s greatest-ever talent and his wife, Savannah, looked on, Mikesell and Bell put on a show. Mikesell scored 30 points — 10 shy of the total she put up in the teams’ first matchup — while Bell went for 38 in a 69-57 win.

“I didn’t know LeBron was going to be in the stands,” Bell said. Just before the national anthem, “People were like, ‘LeBron is here, LeBron is here,’ and I was like, ‘Where? Where?’ ”

Unfortunately for Bell, LeBron might not stick around for her senior season.

jshaffer@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jonas_shaffer

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