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Cameron Smith

Philly hoops star averages 262 points per win

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Looking for an incredible prep statistic? Try this on for size: CAPA (Penn.) High star Matt Powers has averaged 262.3 points per win in his high school career.

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That's right, 262 points per win. The reason for that, of course, is that the Creative and Performing Arts team has won just four games in his four years. According to Ted Silary of the Philadelphia Daily News, CAPA has compiled a woeful overall record of just 4-59 in that span. Powers has scored 1,049 points across his four year career, all as a starter.

Perhaps more amazingly, that actually puts Powers' high school tenure right in line with CAPA's school mark. Silary reports that the school has just eight wins in its seven years. If Powers and his teammates sneak out another win this season, the senior will break the school's record for career victories for a player, as small a moral victory as that may be.

As it turns out, there's a very good reason why Powers has refused to move to a more competitive program, despite plenty of interest. CAPA is the Philadelphia Public League's special admission academy focused on students with talent in performing and visual arts. Powers happens to be a particularly talented artist, and plans to major in visual arts when he eventually gets to college.

"Matt doesn't average many assists, because he really has no supporting cast," CAPA coach John Dunphy told the Daily News. "It would be nice if we could just keep him on the wing, but he has to bang the boards, too.

"This young man deserves so much credit. He didn't broker himself for basketball. He followed his heart for what he wanted to be, an artist. He walked into our program and had a starting role from Day 1. He was a captain by his sophomore year. I've never heard a foul word from him."

In the meantime, his basketball career has been in highly qualified hands, despite the program's overall record. His coach, Dunphy, happens to be the cousin of Temple and former Penn coach Fran Dunphy. The lesser known Dunphy has touted Powers' basketball skills to any number of college coaches, and has focused on a handful of local programs to which Powers has applied ... including Temple.

"It's hard to get any looks playing for CAPA," Powers told the Daily News. "So I've gone to college games. Talked to coaches. Sent out e-mails . . . Coach Dunphy has given me great advice and guidance. He looks out for me. Has gotten me to where I am today."

While a spot with the Owls may be a longshot, the senior's academic and basketball bona fides are hard to question. Powers boasts a 3.5 GPA en route to a future he feels may be in graphic design, though he may still have some more basketball to play before then.

No matter what's next, Powers will be able to look back with pride on a tenure with which most would want little more than to bury it deep in their past.

Of course, that might be Powers' immediate reaction, too, based on how he reacts to the mountains of losses.

"You don't want to see me after a loss," said Powers, whose No. 22 will be retired. "I get very mad. It's very frustrating. I don't know how I deal with it, truthfully.

"My mom and dad come to every game. Afterward, my dad usually lectures me on everything that happened, and says how hard it was to watch. Then I'll watch ['Pardon the Interruption'] and 'SportsCenter' and try to clear my mind."

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