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All-star Classic to showcase local basketball talent
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4th annual North Georgia All-Star Classic

When: March 28

Where: Gainesville High gym

What: 3-point shooting contest (1 p.m.), slam dunk contest (2 p.m.), girls game (3 p.m.), boys game (5 p.m.)



Girls home team

Kaysey Smith, Gainesville

Kensi Gillespie, North Hall

Katie Sayres, North Hall

Sydney Cleveland, North Hall

Tyler Bennett, Chestatee

Jatasia Bailey, East Hall

Chelsea Dale, East Hall

Schyler Miller, Lakeview Academy

Katie Gay, Lakeview Academy

Coach: Kristi House, North Hall

Girls away team

Kaitlyn Duncan, Banks County

Paige Thomas, White County

Lochlain Corliss, North Forsyth

Pallas Kunaiyi, Rabun Gap

Ashley Parker, Dawson County

Sheyenne Seabolt, Dawson County

Riley Chlupacek, Rabun County

Ashlyn Loudermilk, Jackson County

Jameria Hill, Elbert County

Coach: Justin Wheeler, East Hall

Boys home team

Ty Cockfield, Johnson

Roderick English, Johnson

Taylor Bourdage, Flowery Branch

Jordan Pulliam, Chestatee

Hunter Creamer, Chestatee

Kyvon Davenport, East Hall

Roderick Hughey, East Hall

Jermaine Fleming, Gainesville

David Abee, Lakeview Academy

Avery Cagle, Riverside Military Academy

Coach: Jeff Steele, Johnson

Boys away team

Austin Venable, Banks County

William Howard, Clarke Central

D’Andre Mahaffey, Cedar Shoals

Chris Tate, Athens Christian

Demetrius McWhorter, Athens Christian

Tre Hansbrough, Buford

Eric Williams, Athens Academy

Dakota Holtzclaw, North Forsyth

Roc Young, Jefferson

Wrafi Rucker, Hart County

Coach: Mike Cleveland, Banks County

Mario Mays hasn’t forgotten his hometown.

Thanks in large part to that mentality, local high school basketball seniors will gather for the fourth annual North Georgia All-Star Classic on March 28 at Gainesville High School. The event will feature a 3-point shootout (1 p.m.), a slam dunk contest (2 p.m.) and girls (3 p.m.) and boys (5 p.m.) all-star games.

Admission will be $7 for adults, $5 for students and free for children ages 5 and younger. Players who wear their Hall County Parks and Recreation, YMCA and Boys & Girls Club basketball uniforms will also receive free admission.

Mays just completed his seventh year as an assistant coach under Wheeler High head coach Doug Lipscomb, who collected his sixth career state title earlier this month. Both Mays and Lipscomb are Gainesville High graduates.

Mays is accustomed to college coaches coming through to see the top-level talent at Wheeler. They usually say they prefer to stick to the 285 corridor, but Mays always likes to remind them about the talent in North Georgia.

“There’s definitely some kids that deserve the opportunity to play college basketball,” said Mays, who, along with West Hall graduate Adrian Penland, started the North Georgia event in 2012.

Mays (Emmanuel College) and Penland (Lander) both played collegiately before Penland played professionally for six years overseas.

The all-star games of the North Georgia All-Star Classic feature “home” teams made up of Hall County players taking on “away” teams composed of players from surrounding counties.

Johnson’s Ty Cockfield and Roderick English and East Hall’s Kyvon Davenport, all of whom paced their teams to the state quarterfinals, headline the boys home team, which is coached by Johnson’s Jeff Steele.

Steele, who coached in the game last year, joked that people might think he’s a different person in light of his intense demeanor during Johnson games.

“I want the kids to have fun,” Steele said.

He pointed to a meet-and-greet held at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday as another step in an event “getting better every year.”

“I think it will continue to grow,” Steele said.

East Hall’s Jatasia Bailey and Chelsea Dale, fresh off leading the Lady Vikings to the AAA semifinals, and Chestatee’s Tyler Bennett headline the girls home team, coached by North Hall’s Kristi House.

“Any time you can honor kids, it’s an awesome event,” House said. “The schools that normally compete against each other, they get to play together.”

Three of House’s Lady Trojans made the team: Kensi Gillespie, Katie Sayres and Sydney Cleveland. Cleveland won’t play, after tearing her ACL early in the 2014-15 season.

Banks County’s Austin Venable, a Presbyterian College signee, and Buford’s Tre Hansbrough, a Tennessee Tech commitment, are on the boys away team, which will be coached by Banks County’s Mike Cleveland.

“We have a lot of talent in Northeast Georgia,” Mike Cleveland said. “It’s a good opportunity to show that.”

Banks County’s Kaitlyn Duncan and Dawson County’s Sheyenne Seabolt pace the girls away team, coached by East Hall’s Justin Wheeler. Wheeler will be coaching against two of his Lady Vikings: Bailey and Dale.

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