Alabama All-Stars Set To Face Mississippi Friday
Alabama’s boys’ and girls’ basketball all-star squads will face Mississippi’s all-stars Friday night at Jackson, MS, in the 24th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Classic.
The teams, comprised of 12 seniors on each squad, will square off at Jackson State University’s Lee E. Williams Athletics & Assembly Center. The girls will play at 5 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7.
The games are being played in Mississippi for the first time since 2002 when there was a site rotation between the two states from 1991-2002 before moving to Pelham Convention Center in 2003 where it remained through 2011. Alabama State hosted the games at Dunn-Oliver Acadome in 2012 and 2013 and will host the 2015 event.
Alabama won both games last year with the girls taking a 64-54 victory and the boys an 87-76 triumph and for a 12-11 edge in both series that dates back to 1991. Mississippi holds a 4-2 edge in the boys’ and girls’ competition played in Mississippi. Alabama owns a 10-7 edge in contests played with its boundaries.
Coaches for the Alabama girls’ squad are Brant Llewellyn of Lauderdale County and Emanuel Bell of Wenonah, both guiding teams to state championships in 2014. Llewellyn’s Class 3A Tigers won their third title in a row and a state-record 11th overall to finish 38-0. The 38 wins are the most of any girls’ team in AHSAA state history. Lauderdale County currently owns a 45-game winning streak heading into next season.
Bell’s Lady Dragons finished 27-7 and won the 5A state title after finishing as runner-up in 2013. Brenda Mayes of Muscle Shoals is the administrative coach.
Coaches for Alabama’s boys are Reginald McGary of Class 5A state Champion Parker (23-6) and Darrell Barber of Class 3A state champ Midfield (26-7). McGary, who led the Thundering Herd to their first state crown since 1975, has a 648-136 career record, and Barber, who guided the Patriots to their second title in three years, is 105-51 in five seasons. Jamie Lee of Decatur is the administrative coach.
Heading the Alabama girls squad are two players who closed their careers with over 4,000 career points – Woodland point guard Leah Strain and Sylacauga forward Shakayla Thomas. Strain finished her career ranked second in the AHSAA behind her older sister Courtney on the scoring list. She has 4,561 points in her 207-game career but also had an even more impressive 191-16 record as the starting point guard for the Bobcats. The Jacksonville State signee led Woodland to state 2A titles in 2013 and 2014 and earned MVP honors each year.
Thomas, headed to Florida State, scored 40 in a Class 5A semifinal win over Brewer in last week’s state tourney and totaled 4,242 points in her career. She averaged 32.7 points per game this season.
Also named to the Alabama squad is 6-1 forward Alexis Jennings of Sparkman, who averaged 22.6 points in leading the Senators to the 6A state finals. She is headed to the University of Kentucky. Riley Northway of Brewer, a 6-1 forward, will play at David Lipscomb University and Shades Valley guard Morgan William, the 6A state tournament MVP this season, at Mississippi State.
Highlighting perhaps the tallest Alabama boys’ squad ever selected for the series is 6-foot-9 UAB signee and Class 4A MVP William Lee of Dallas County, the state’s all-time blocked shots leader; 7-2 center Isaac Haas of Hokes Bluff, who signed with Purdue; Class 5A MVP Marquell Oliver, a 6-6 forward at Parker who is unsigned; 6-6 Mississippi State signee Demetrius Houston and 6-7 Indiana State signee Brandon Murphy, both of Carver-Montgomery; 6-7 Alabama signee Riley Norris of Albertville; Virginia Tech signee T.J. Lang of McGill-Toolen; and 6-7 UAB signee Lewis Sullivan of Hazel Green; Haas is the tallest Alabama player ever to be selected to the annual game
Also selected is talented Brantley guard Wesley Person, Jr., the son of former Auburn and NBA standout Wesley Person. Still unsigned, Person scored 55 points in the South Regional Class 1A finals as the Bulldogs fell to Sunshine 82-80. He won the Final 48 3-point shooting competition last weekend.
Mississippi’s boys also feature a tall lineup that includes 6-11 center Joniah White of Grenada, a Louisiana Tech signee; Kentucky signee Devin Booker, a 6-6 guard from Moss Point; 6-2 Mississippi State signee Maurice Dunlap of Amanda Elzy; and 6-7 forwards Stacey Mack of McComb and Howard Thomas of Brandon. Mississippi head coach is Roderick Davidson of Ridgeland.
Headlining the Mississippi girls’ team is 5-11 Bay guard Christa Reed, who has signed with Vanderbilt; Ole Miss signee A’Queen Hayes of Horn Lake; and a pair of Mississippi State recruits, Blair Schaefer of Starkville and Victoria Vivians of Scott Central.
The games will be live-streamed through the NFHS TV Network and broadcast live via the internet by the AHSAA Radio Network.
Link for the radio broadcast found at www.ahsaa.com is: http://www.mixlr.com/ahsaaradio. The NFHS link is http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/93589 for the girls’ game and http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/93588.
The complete Alabama and Mississippi rosters and all-time Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game Results are attached.
Alabama Roster | Mississippi Roster | All Time Results