UCF Fastbreak - June 24

June 24, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Several current and former Knights are competing against some of the top players in the region this summer. Led by senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) and sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University), the group is playing in the City of Orlando Pro-Am.

Games in the league, which features teams stocked with current and former college and professional players, began last week. Taylor and Tyler playing on a squad with three incoming UCF freshmen: guards A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) and William Weathers (Lewisville, Texas/Lewisville) and forward P.J. Gaynor (Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin).

Three former Knights are also on the team. Guards Mike Battle and Dave Noel concluded their UCF careers this past season, and forward Lavell Payne spent 2007-08 playing professionally in Bulgaria.

The City of Orlando Pro-Am is an NCAA-sanctioned league. Two players from each college are allowed to compete on the same team. Since the trio of freshmen do not begin their eligibility until the fall, they can play on the same squad as Taylor and Tyler.

Taylor played in the league in the past and was impressed by the competition. An All-Conference USA Second Team pick last year after averaging 20.8 points per game, Taylor says that facing professionals like Chucky Atkins and Darius Washington in the summer league will help his game this upcoming season.

"Facing the better competition is great. People play hard in the games," he said. "They use NBA rules, which is great. It will help me get ready for the season. I will get to play against good defenders and also work on my defense against some really good offensive players."

Contests are played at two sites in Orlando: the Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center and the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex.

Two other UCF freshmen - guard Isaac Sosa and center Jakub Kusmieruk - are not playing with their fellow rookies this summer. Sosa is competing with the Puerto Rico U-18 National Team and Kusmieruk is arriving in Florida from Poland later this week.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also visit www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.