Nine area stars to be featured in East-West All-Star games
New Towson University women’s basketball coach Niki Reid Geckeler appears to be getting a particularly loyal player in former Hillside High School forward Jordyn Smith.
Smith had agreed to play for Geckeler at Howard University where several of Hillside girls’ basketball coach Ovester Grays’ players have preceded her.
But when Geckeler accepted the job at Towson, Smith figured that’s where she needed to be, too, Grays said.
Smith was released from her letter-of-intent by Howard and is expected to be eligible to play at Towson this fall, Grays said.
Smith has one more high school game to play before starting college ball. She’ll join a very familiar teammate in former Hillside guard Mylea McKenith on the East girls’ basketball squad during the 2013 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games, which include boys’ basketball, football and boys’ and girls’ soccer.
The East-West girls’ basketball game is 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“That’s a monster honor any time you can have multiple players in it,” Grays said about McKenith and Smith.
McKenith, a crafty player for Grays, is headed to Lander College in Greenwood, S.C.
Former Carrboro point guard Diamond Tyson (5-5), who is taking her attacking style to Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, will suit up with McKenith (5-7) and Smith (5-10) for the East-West game.
Tyson was a four-year varsity starter for Carrboro coach Sheremy Dillard-Clanton, who helped groom the guard into the most prolific scorer in the history of the school. Tyson’s 1,861 career points, 507 career rebounds and 69.25 career free-throw percentage are Carrboro benchmarks, and she was the player of the year in the Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference.
As a senior, Tyson averaged 22.5 points per game.
“Being a part of the all-star game is an incredible honor,” Tyson said. “I feel truly blessed for this opportunity to showcase my skills at this level. I am coming into the game without expectations, just with an open mind.”
Grays said Smith, the player of the year in the PAC-6, developed a solid relationship with Howard’s basketball staff during the recruiting process. Last year’s Howard team included three young ladies from Hillside: Jerrelle Gorham, Tamoria Holmes and Julee O’Neal.
“I feel very excited as well as blessed to be participating in the all-star game,” Smith said. “ I hope to gain great friendships during the process.”
McKenith said, “I feel extremely blessed to be selected to be a part of this event.”
BOYS’ TRIO ON EAST
Tyrone Outlaw Jr. and Anthony Vanhook likely will spend plenty of time together in Greensboro soon enough, but they’ll have an opportunity to move forward with their bonding in that city this weekend while preparing to play on the East boys’ basketball team during the 2013 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Outlaw, the co-PAC-6 player of the year from Roxboro’s Person High, is a prized UNC Greensboro recruit and Chapel Hill High School coach Tod Morgan said Vanhook plans to join Outlaw as a Spartans’ walk-on.
Former Jordan High center Jared Hendryx, the co-PAC-6 player of the year who’s bound for Queens University in Charlotte, will hoop with Vanhook and Outlaw on the East team.
“I feel both honored and blessed to be playing in the all-star game,” Hendryx said. “I’m expecting a great experience and to create some lifelong memories.”
Hendryx (6-8, 185) is wiry with long arms and erased a lot of shots in the PAC-6. He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game for Jordan coach Kim Annas.
Vanhook (6-3, 208) was a tough-minded forward nicknamed “The Beast” for Chapel Hill, while Outlaw (6-5, 198) could be a devastating offensive threat for the Rockets.
Outlaw poured in 23.7 points per game to go with 13.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 blocks. He’ll see what he can do against some of the best players in the state during the East-West game.
“Just glad to be chosen, and I hope it’s memorable,” Outlaw said.
DAVIS ON EAST SQUAD
Former Southern High School defensive back Antonio Davis (5-9, 165) is the lone area representative on the East football team for the 2013 NCAC East-West Game at 8 p.m. Wednesday High Point’s Simeon Stadium.
“Antonio was a great part of the Spartan football team,” Southern coach Adrian Jones said. “He was a two-year starter and my lock-down corner. Antonio led the team in interceptions and was a leader by example.”
Davis will step away from football and lock in on his academics during his first year at Elizabeth City State University, Jones said.
THWAI, RYAN FEATURED
Thar Thwai and Owen Ryan will kick it for the East team during the all-star boys’ soccer game at 8:30 p.m. Tueday at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium.
Thwai (5-4, 140) was a midfielder for Carrboro High School and emerged as the player of the year in the Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference. He was limited by an ankle injury in Carrboro’s 2-A state title match loss.
“I am very excited to be a part of the game, and I am expecting to gain more knowledge about the game,” Thwai said.
Thwai plans to play soccer for Catawba College.
Ryan (5-10, 147) was a midfielder for Durham School of the Arts and is looking forward to going against some of the best players in the state.
“I am excited to play with such highly skilled players,” Ryan said.
Ryan will attend UNC Greensboro.
Chapel Hill High School star Alexis Moiseenko was the lone area representative schedule to play in Tuesday night’s East-West girls’ soccer game at UNC Greensboro, but she elected not to play and was replaced by Fayetteville Jack Britt’s Nancy Kirk.
NOTES — The East-West rosters include only graduated seniors who receive an invitation to play in the game and agree to accept the invitation. Players who do not accept the invitations are not named to the all-star teams. Many of the top players in their sport in the area and state do not agree to play because of commitments to their new college programs and their enrollment in college summer school classes.