DURHAM — DURHAM -- Duke's Mason Plumlee rose up, grabbed the rebound and slammed the ball down with two hands for the opening points of the S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-Am summer league.
The next basket came courtesy of rising N.C. State sophomore C.J. Leslie, who threw down a reverse two-hander. Before the first minute of play was over, Leslie converted an alley-oop off a pass from future teammate Alex Johnson, who transferred to the Wolfpack from Cal State-Bakersfield.
"I figured we'd start off with a bang," said Plumlee, who will be a junior at Duke. "It'll get more intense, but it was a good first game."
Plumlee had 23 points, and Leslie and Johnson each added 18 as Team McGladrey ran past CEO Munny 93-74 Thursday night in the league opener at N.C. Central's McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium.
"I love the Pro-Am. Just a lot of fun," Plumlee said. "There's such a variety of players here, there's really nowhere else in the country that they can do this."
In the second game, UNC rising juniors Dexter Strickland (20 points) and Leslie McDonald (16 points) led Sheraton Imperial to a 71-62 win over 20/20, while Duke graduate Nolan Smith scored 13 points for team Next Level Custom as it fell to Team Jamison 64-51 in the nightcap.
"(Dexter and I) played pickup earlier in the day, so we ran out of gas a little bit, but we pulled it out with a victory," McDonald said.
Smith, who was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, flew back from apartment hunting in Portland to take part in the event.
"We come here just to have fun and play basketball against good competition, and we do it for the fans," Smith said. "Last year I was a college guy going at some of the pros. Now they're going to come at me."
Smith said the current labor uncertainty wasn't on his mind.
"I really haven't had that much time to think about it. Hopefully it gets worked out sooner than later," Smith said. "Right now I just want to work on my game to get better for when it ends."
Smith could be the first of many pros to come to N.C. Central next month if the lockout takes place.
"A lot of guys are going to be looking for places to play and work out, not so much worried about having to try and protect themselves for the season," league co-founder Jerry Stackhouse said. "So I think we're going to see a lot of guys looking to stay in shape."
Unfortunately, one thing that fans won't see is younger players.
Because the league takes place on a Division I campus, the NCAA now considers the event an unfair recruiting advantage for N.C. Central if players with high school eligibility are involved.
"I think it was really beneficial to their growth to be able to see where they stood against the college and pro players, so we're disappointed about that, but at the same time we're going to keep moving forward," Stackhouse said.
The league continues Thursday July 7 with a quintuple-header - a women's game at 5 p.m., a wheelchair game at 6 p.m. and then a men's tripleheader with games at 7, 8 and 9. Admission to the event is free.