Sixty of Central Ohio's top 8th grade boys prepared for weeks to showcase their talents at the 1st Annual Stars of the Future All-Star Games which was held on Saturday February 28th at Marion Franklin High School in Columbus. The vision of Scott Williams, Athletics Director at Marion Franklin, was to bring together the areas' elite basketball players for a series of all-star games pitting top 8th graders from the city league and suburban schools.
In terms of the format, the all-star event attracted approximately 60 players who were divided into six teams, representing various central Ohio middle schools. Using Broad Street as the dividing point, roughly 30 players represented the North squad and 30 players represented the South team. In the spirit of the NBA All-Star Game, each player wore jerseys from their respective middle schools.
On the South squad alone, more than 16 middle schools were represented from as far east as Gahanna, Reynoldsburg and Pickerington, as far south as Harvest Prep and Groveport North, to as far west as Hilltonia. Of course the city league was well represented with Johnson Park, Franklin, Sherwood, Eastmoor, Southmoor, Berry, Sherwood and Yorktown middle schools. In all, the event involved 3 very competitive games with the North team taking two out of the three games.
As an example of the level of talent associated with this event, seven of the players who participated in the event are currently ranked in the top 25 in the state by OhioPrepScene.com, and four of those players are ranked nationally by the Hoop Scoop.
In addition, nine of the Buckeye Prep Report's top 10 Central Ohio Players participated in the games.
The following players represented the North squad: Chris Crockett; Devon Moore; Robbie Taylor; Thomas Howard; Tyree Burell; Ben Bennett; Devon Ross; Austin Brown; Eian Pippen; Will Homan; Talunt; Brandon White; Tim Mapp; Sean Hobbs; Cameron Harper; Bruce Cubdiff; Elyas Adde; Travis Martin; Lonnie Poindexter; Jason Beck; Japaul Harper; Marvin Stewart; DeMarcus Jackson; Shatuam Martin and Alphonso
The following players represented the South team: Kenneth Gray; Quentin Harris; B.J. Mullin; Tommy Klempin; Eric Beard; Jaquin Watson; Anthony White; Brandon Mayle; D'Angelo Brundage; Tommy Barrick; Eugene Walker; Chris Carroll; Seamus Garvey; Dante Keeton; Josh Huckleby; Chris Forte; Antonio Bumpis; Dominic Willis; Isiah Tabler; Trevon Flores; Preston Kelly; Syr Julian Jones; Brandon Hoke; Kierre Roberts; Brennen Fraley; Delaney Hamilton; James Bradley; Brandon Joiner and Drake Davis.
Not only did the event bring together the top players in central Ohio, but also the event was a fundraiser for the school and proceeds from the event will be used to finance athletics. Although the games were held over a week ago, Columbus is still buzzing about the results games. The debate is still raging about who the top players are in central Ohio. Be sure to check out OhioPrepScene.com and future issues of Buckeye Prep Report for event coverage.