All-Star game highlights top middle school players
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY
With the high school playoffs just finishing up, many of Forsyth County’s top middle school basketball players get overlooked. The CP3 Basketball Academy is looking to change that by highlighting the area’s best middle school players in the second annual middle school All-Star game held Saturday, March 11.
The players not only were able to play in the game but also were treated to drills and workout tips on Friday. The players selected were from students in the seventh and eighth grades in area public schools. They players also were able to listen to local high school coaches to get an idea of what to expect when they get there.
“The public school kids don’t get much and after their season they don’t even go to a tournament,” said Jon Adams, director of Skill Development at the CP3 Basketball Academy. “I just thought that we could give the kids a little bit more, so that’s why we did this last year.”
The seventh-grade All-Star game was up first. The Black team jumped out to a big early lead in the first half, shocking the White team. After the halftime break the white team seemed to get on track, but each time they looked to go on a run, the Black team stifled them. The Black team was able to hold off the White team and win 52-43.
“I think the game turned out great,” said Matthew Halverstadt, coach of the Black team. “The first half, we got out to a pretty big lead, but they pressed us and closed the gap a little. All the guys worked hard throughout the season and this is good exposure for them.”
White team coach Thomas Dempsey said, “We played a little weak in the first half. I told the guys that the game is happening now and we have to play 110 percent because we cannot come back and replay the game. I think we played well in the second half but could not come all the way back.
“I think this is a great way to reward the kids for doing well on the court this season. This is a great experience and confidence-builder going forward for them,” Dempsey said.
The eighth-grade game was a high-scoring affair. The Red and Black teams went back and forth for most of the first half and much of the second. With just under 10 minutes left in the game, the Red team went on a run that blew the game wide open. They continued to pour it on late and came away with the 108-83 victory.
Black team coach Jamie Foster says he thought his team played fairly well. He thought this was a great way to highlight the middle school game. Foster is also the head coach for the 14 and under Triads Finest AAU team.
“Most of the guys know one another and this game was really about pride,” Foster said. “Even though we lost, my team played hard and fought until the end.”
Tega Carter, Red team coach and Skill Developer at CP3 Basketball Academy added, “I thought everybody played really well. They shared the ball and played down hill while still having fun. We just made adjustments defensively and the kids responded well. Here at CP3 Academy, we just enjoy giving the kids an opportunity to just come play.”
Adams said the game is more than just basketball.
He says he wants to try and give them advise on how to be productive young men on and off the court. He said the players were chosen not just because of their play on the court but also their efforts in the classroom and how they handle themselves while playing.
CP3 Basketball Academy was established by Winston-Salem’s own NBA All-Star Chris Paul.