There’s still one more night of high-style, prep basketball competition this season. And it’ll be Saturday at Alton High.
Yes, there are high school hoops in May.
No doubt, bragging rights will be at stake as the Downstate All-Stars will take on the Upstate Stars in a boys’ extravaganza. The events get going at 7 p.m.
Following a 3-point shootout and a dunk contest, some of the best players from Peoria to Southern Illinois will get an opportunity to do some jamming.
Admission is $5 per person and the doors open at 6 p.m. Blake Turner of Springfield Lanphier is coaching the Upstate team and Darian Nash of Cahokia is guiding the Downstate one. The Southwestern Illinois Jets, affiliated with the AAU, are sponsoring the event.
Alton High’s De’Antae McMurray and Michael Williams-Bey, plus Marquette Catholic’s Deion Lavender, will be among the players for the Downstate squad. So will Shawn Roundtree, Trevor Clay and Armon Fletcher of Edwardsville. Both Lavender and Fletcher have signed with Southern Illinois University Carbondale of the Missouri Valley Conference.
“It should be a pretty good event and a competitive one,” said Dana Morgan, assistant director of the Jets. Morgan and Alton High coach Eric Smith are coordinating the competition.
“It’s the first year for it and we’re excited about having it,” Morgan said. “There never has been an all-star game in this area with all Illinois kids in it. So for one night, we’ll get to see who has the bragging rights.”
He expects 24 players to participate. The Upstate team figures to include players from Champaign to Springfield to Peoria. The Downstate group is a metro-east one.
“It’s going to be a fun event and Alton is a good place to have it because it’s a midway point,” Morgan said about the location. “There’s really a good group of players from Southwestern Illinois this year and a lot of the guys are playing AAU ball for the Jets, the Eagles or the Irish.”
The local golf season is under way and it’ll swing into full force next month with the 61st annual Gold Medal Tournament. The 112-player event is set for June 7-8 at Rock Spring Park in Alton.
The two-day tourney, which usually features some of the area’s top amateur players, will have a shotgun start at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 7. Entry fee is $140 per player.
The 36-hole tournament offers Championship A, B and C flights. Top prize is $500 for winning Championship Flight.
VVH Golf Management is sponsoring the event, which has been a part of the River Bend since 1953. Checks should be made payable to: VVH Golf Management in Alton. Call 465-9898 for more information.