Daniels and Fitch will compete in San Antonio

March 31, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Erik Daniels won't be playing in the Final Four, but he will be playing in a game at San Antonio this weekend.

The University of Kentucky forward was one of 10 seniors selected to participate in the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) All-Star Game Friday against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Last year almost 15,000 fans watched the Globetrotters beat the college all-stars 87-85 in overtime during the Final Four weekend in New Orleans.

Georgia's Rashad Wright, who helped the Bulldogs beat UK twice during the season, is the only other Southeastern Conference player picked to participate in the game.


The all-star roster

Joining Daniels and Wright on the all-star roster are Dayton's Keith Walesowski, Stanford's Matt Lottich, Cincinnati's Tony Bobbitt, Texas-San Antonio's LeRoy Hurd, Temple's David Hawkins, DePaul's Andre Brown, Texas Tech's Andre Emmett and Gonzaga's Cory Violette.

"I think it is a good reward for him," said UK assistant coach Dave Hobbs. "It's a hard team to put together because they never know exactly who will still be playing (in the Final Four).

"Playing in this game is a reward for the way you played during the season and obviously people noticed that Erik had a really good senior year. He's a guy who carried his ability level to a high level. He's one of those guys who came close to maximizing his potential. Not many players can ever say that."

Daniels averaged 14.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, both second best on the team, last season and started all 32 games. He shot a team-high 58.1 percent from the field and also had 90 assists and 34 steals.

He was named to the All-Southeastern Conference second team.

Daniels' teammate, Gerald Fitch, will also be in San Antonio for the 16th annual Mountain Dew Slam Dunk & 3-Point Shooting Championships on Thursday. Fitch, UK's leading scorer, will compete against Vanderbilt's Matt Freije, Xavier's Romain Sato, Oregon's Luke Jackson, Gonzaga's Blake Stepp, Cincinnati's Field Williams, Texas' Brandon Mouton and Lottich in the 3-point game. Fitch is also an alternate for the all-star game.

Barnstorming tour starts in Harrodsburg

Daniels, Fitch and their senior teammates - Cliff Hawkins, Antwain Barbour and Matt Heissenbuttel - will start a series of barnstorming games April 12 at 7 p.m. at Harrodsburg High School. Tickets are $5 and will be sold only at the game.

The group will also play games at the following high schools: April 13, Ryle; April 15, Elizabethtown; April 16, Hopkinsville; April 17, Owensboro Catholic; April 18, Nelson County; April 20, Franklin County; April 23, Greenwood; April 25, Pulaski County; April 30, Marshall County; May 2, Clark County; May 4, Green County; May 6, Louisville Male; and May 7, Tell City (Ind.).

A portrait by Jackie Tate Stewart featuring the five seniors will be available for $50 during the barnstorming tour.

Stewart, a Berea native, is married to Tom Stewart, a 1969 Danville High School graduate and member of Danville's 1968 12th Region championship team. She is best known for her portrait drawings. However, life on a ranch in Oklahoma as well as in central Kentucky have given her a unique appreciation for and perspective on life that is conveyed in her work.

Past portraits have included farmers, cowboys, musicians, political candidates, race car drivers, pets and children, and her portraits are known for their vivid detail.

"She's really done a wonderful job with the portrait," said Carmen Daniels, Erik Daniels' mother. "I think UK fans will really like the portrait when they see it.

"She draws and paints from her love of family and friends. She got her love for art as a child from her mother and she's really become an accomplished artist. I am just so thankful that she agreed to do this for our seniors."

Stewart, an Eastern Kentucky graduate, has work in numerous churches throughout this part of the country.

Carmen Daniels says anyone who cannot attend one of the barnstorming games to buy a senior portrait can still purchase one via e-mail at

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