Sophomore Melvin Tabb doesn't often play against players his own height on the high school level, but he's learning how to battle inside this spring on the traveling team circuit.
The 6-foot-7 Raleigh Enloe High product opened up eyes with his play at the King James Classic on April 25-27 in Akron, Ohio, while playing with the Carolina Raptors Select 16s team. The power forward continued his stellar play this past weekend at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, where he averaged 16.3 points per game.
"At the King James Tournament, we did pretty good and made a whole of noise," said Tabb, who plays with high school teammate and classmate Emanuel "Pooh" Chapman and freshman guard Bishop Daniels, who will attend Word of God next year. "I can't take all the credit for my success because I got help from my guard play, with Pooh and Bishop passing me the ball.
"I was feeling pretty good at the Akron tournament and had a lot to play for."
Tabb had a spirited battle against 6-8 Josh Hairston of D.C. Assault on Saturday. Hairston went on to winning MVP honors for the 16-year-old division. Playing against other nationally recognized big men will only help Tabb's development.
"Hairston is a pretty tough guy," Tabb said. "It was great playing against competition, that is the only way to get better. I'm happy that we saw some great talent. I hadn't seen him play before. I liked the challenge."
Tabb hopes to become an inside-outside force, where he can muscle up big guys inside, but also step outside and take players off the dribble or pop the mid-range jump shot.
During the high school season, Tabb received steady interest from NC State and Wake Forest, and also attended a North Carolina game. His playing during the spring has added Georgetown, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida, to the mix.
Tabb plans on attending the Nike Hoop Jamboree on June 12-15 in St. Louis, Mo., and he hopes to play well enough there to earn a berth to the LeBron James Skills Academy in early July in Akron, Ohio. He's also thinking of attending the Virginia elite camp and NC State team camp.
"Just stay tuned, and you'll see what happens," Tabb said.
Tabb also has a political message for fellow hoops fans.
"Vote Obama," Tabb said.