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Wallace Chooses Alabama

Gerald Wallace, rated one of the top high school prospects in the country, ended the recruiting battle Tuesday by announcing he will attend Alabama.

Wallace, a 6-foot-6 forward from Childersburg, Ala., was joined in committing to Alabama by Mario Austin, a teammate on his AAU team.

Before this summer, Wallace was hardly known outside of Alabama. But some impressive performances at several AAU tournaments drew numerous scholarship offers and comparisons to Michael Jordan.

"When I saw (Michael) Jordan at the end of his junior season, I wrote that he had the best combination of skills, intangibles and athletic ability I've ever seen in a wing guard," Brick Oettinger, who writes a recruiting column for The Sporting News, said.

"That was in early 1980. It's taken 19 years since I've written those words again except Wallace is a wing forward," Oettinger said.

Wallace, a slasher and leaper with 3-point shooting range, said he chose Alabama over Alabama-Birmingham, Auburn, Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Florida, Florida State and Arkansas.

He and Austin, a 6-9, 265-pound forward from Sumter County, had been promoting themselves to colleges as a package deal.

"Of all the players I've played with, (Mario) is the best," Wallace has said. "He knows what I'm thinking and I know what he is thinking. We can make the pass and the plays without even looking at each other, because we know where each other is going to be."

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