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.