Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Durant Can't Outscore Former MAAC Star

NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, playing summer basketball during the professional league's lockout, scored 66 points in a Rucker League contest Monday night at the league's Harlem venue.

Durant hit 9-of-11 3-pointers, including treys on five straight possessions.

"This was one of the great nights of my life," said Durant, to reporters, afterwards.

But, not as great as one by a former MAAC standout who played several summers in the legendary Rucker League, the nation's premier summer competitive situation that has drawn a who's who of legendary performers to its venue over the years.

Steve Burtt Jr., a 2006 graduate of Iona College, turned in a 68-point performance in a Rucker's game in the summer of 2007.

Burtt Jr., a 6-2 guard, is the Gaels' second all-time leading scorer with 2,034 career points. That total ranks behind only his father's 2,534 points in the school's record books. Together, the Burtts' 4,568 combined points accounts for the top father-son point total in college basketball history.

Since graduating from Iona Burtt has been playing professionally in leagues overseas, most recently in the Ukraine and, before that, in Israel.

Burtt Jr.'s 68-point night is considered a single-game record for play in the Entertainment Basketball Classic, an event ongoing since 1990. But, before that, summer league play at the famed park had a variety of other names.

Burtt's big game is recorded as the third-highest one-contest total in the history of Rucker League play.

The top two one-game efforts were both recorded by a legendary playground figure of the 1970s, Joe "The Destroyer" Hammond, a 6-4 guard who once turned down a $50,000 annual contract offered by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hammond had scoring totals of 74 and 71 points in Rucker League games in the 1970s.

A three-paragraph item in Tuesday's New York Post also credits 5-10 guard James "Pookie" Wilson, who played collegiately at John Jay College, for also scoring 68 points in an Entertainment Basketball Classic game. Some internet research, though, shows that Wilson's single-game best in that event was only 63 points.

It leaves Burtt Jr. alone with the third-highest single-game point total in the history of organized league play in a Rucker League game, two points better than what NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant could accumulate on Monday night.

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