DURHAM — A packed house of 3,000 at McLendon-McDougald rose to its feet as two of Raleigh's best went 1-on-1 with the game on the line.
For almost 40 minutes, Raleigh native and No. 1 NBA Draft pick John Wall had been isolated against former N.C. State star and ACC Player of the Year Julius Hodge.
At various times Hodge slapped the floor, pounded his chest, flapped his arms, flexed his muscles and put his hands behind his back while guarding Wall, much to the delight of the crowd.
For his part, the Washington Wizards All-Rookie Team selection exhibited a series of lightning-quick crossovers, sometimes getting to the basket for acrobatic layups and sometimes being forced into fadeaway airballs.
But Wall got the best of Hodge in the end, drawing a foul in a tied game with 0.9 seconds left and making his free throws to give Triangle Gastroenterology a 73-71 win over 751 South in a Greater NC Pro-Am summer league game on Tuesday night at N.C. Central.
"This is the type of game I like when the crowd gets into it, packed house, you put on a show," Wall said. "It's different than running plays. It's kind of like street ball, but it's inside so I enjoy playing in it."
All three ACC schools were represented in the game - Wall was teamed with incoming UNC freshman P.J. Hairston, while Hodge was joined by UNC graduate Jawad Williams, Duke senior Miles Plumlee and Blue Devils recruits Quinn Cook and Marshall Plumlee.
"Especially because of the NBA lockout it's good to come out here against some quality competition and showcase my skills," Hodge said.
The crowd was treated to monster blocks and a reverse two-hand slam from Hairston, strong drives from Cook and powerful follow-up dunks from Mason Plumlee. But the biggest cheers were reserved for Wall, including a spin move that ended in a no-look between-the legs pass to Durham Hillside graduate Trent Bivens for a layup.
"It's always a great matchup playing against (Hodge) and it's fun to see so many kids come out and support us, so I always try my best to come back home and play," Wall said.
The game even featured a taste of the Duke-UNC rivalry when the senior Plumlee drove the lane and was knocked down by Hairston, who received an intentional foul.
Hodge, who plans to play in Europe next season, finished with a game-high 20 points, while Hairston had 18, Cook had 14, Wall had 12 and Williams and both Plumlees all finished with 10.
Rekindling a rivalry: Hodge helped organize a game between UNC and N.C State players on Monday in Raleigh.
"I like the progression I was seeing from the N.C. State team but I didn't want them to get their heads too big," Hodge said. "I wanted them to see what team camaraderie is and where they are right now and how they have to continue to progress."
Hodge used to scrimmage the Tar Heels all the time when he was with the Wolfpack, and he was excited to see it happen again.
"I think it was good to bring back the N.C. State-UNC rivalry because we all know that was the original rivalry before UNC and Duke," Hodge said.
More NBA talent: Wall wasn't the only NBA player on the court last night. Team Jamison, featuring Raymond Felton, Chris Wilcox and Sean May, beat Team McGladrey 80-69 in the nightcap. UNC graduate David Noel, who currently plays in France, had 11 points in the early game as 20/20 beat CEO Munny 73-45.