All-star game gives players last chance to shine on court
By St. Clair Murraine
Richards High School point guard Maurice Howard could have easily sat in the stands, resting on the laurels of being one of four Raiders to score more than 1,000 career point.
But he simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play one more game on his home court in a high-school all-star game that brought together some of the area’s best talent.
Howard’s three straight three-pointers bought the West squad back from a one-point halftime deficit. But Howard and his teammates couldn’t recover after Tyree Crump out of Bainbridge (Ga.) High School nailed a trey with under 20 seconds left to secure a 104-98 victory for the East.
The end was bitter-sweet for Howard, who will play his next meaningful basketball game for Alcorn State.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Howard of his opportunity to play on the next level. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I started playing basketball in the seventh grade.
“I got better each year and my dream
finally came true; having a chance to play Division I college basketball.”
Will Stanley, founder of YepWeKan, has staged the event for the last four years as a last chance for high school players to showcase their talent. The event has grown each year since its inception, even attracting college scouts.
“We’ve had great success with it,” said Chris Ayers, an assistant coach at Godby who directed the event. “We haven’t had anybody reject playing in the game. If we reach out to them they were always excited about playing in it.”
One of those was Desean Enzor, who played at Godby High School. He used the halftime break as a platform to announce his signing to play for King University, a Division II school in Bristol, Tenn.
“I wanted to show everybody who was downing me and saying I’m going nowhere,” Enzor said of his decision to announce at halftime. “Now everybody knows.”