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Playground star makes his prep debut

By PETE YOUNG

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- Gibbs' Benson Callier scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds Friday in his first high school game, a 67-57 loss at Dixie Hollins.

Callier, who was profiled in a Times article in November, is more than three years removed from middle school but never has been academically eligible.

He became known for his basketball abilities through strong performances with AAU teams and on the playgrounds of St. Petersburg.

Callier, who has attended three high schools, rededicated himself to academics last summer and gained his eligibility Friday.

"He played a pretty good game for his first high school game," Gibbs coach Arian Odom said. "I'm proud of him for what he accomplished just to get to this point, and I was proud of the way he played."

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