The Smyrna Stars are the "other" group out of Georgia, but they have plenty of talent – and are coming off a year in which they lost only two games.
``We've always been good, but we're not sponsored by a shoe company and we play here with the Atlanta Celtics and Georgia Stars," Smyrna Stars coach Gary Graham said. "If we come to play, we can play with anybody."
It'll all start with 6-8, 215-pound junior Korvotney Barber, who Graham refers to as "the closest thing to Amare Stoudamire he's seen." Barber has never played on the summer circuit and comes off a strong junior season at Manchester High.
South Cobb 5-8 junior DeAndre Adams, who Graham likens to Oklahoma freshman Andrew Lavender, will run the show. Lithuanian big man Petras Balocka will play alongside 6-8, 275-pound two-sport star Charles Jackson in the frontcourt while the final starting spot is up for grabs between wings Mike Lusk and athletic Chris Hanna.
Parkview guard Ric McPhee and North Gwinnett's Jon Sizemore and Mike Malloy will come off the bench as well as Thomasville's Demarquis Webb, North Cobb combo guard Austin Graham and Cedar Hill's Danny Smith. Round out the bench is 6-7 Emanuel Adoda and 6-1 point guard D'Marko Lankes.
``We do it the old-fashioned way," added Graham. "We do the car washes, sell cookies and coupon books. We do it the right way and we're not scared of anybody."
Smyrna Stars (Smyrna, Ga.)
Coaches: Gary Graham, Steve Burrell, Gray Trimble, Stuart Clark
Top Prospect: BF Korvotney Barber (6-8, 215, JR)
Projected Starters: PG DeAndre Adams (5-8, 170, JR); F Petras Balocka (6-8, 245, JR); C Charles Jackson (6-8, 275, JR); WG Mike Lusk (6-4, 180, JR)
Others: WF Chris Hanna (6-6, JR); WG Danny Smith (6-1, JR); G Ric McPhee (6-1, JR); WG Jon Sizemore (6-4, JR); G Mike Malloy (6-2, JR); WG Austin Graham (6-2, JR); BF-C Demarquis Webb (6-9, JR); BF Emanuel Adoda (6-7, JR); PG D'Marko Lankes (6-1, JR)
Opening Tourney: Kingwood Classic – April 23-25
Famous Alum: Brian Smithson (Middle Tennessee State)