Between track practice, college basketball workouts and homework, St. Thomas Aquinas High School senior Claire Ferguson already has a lot on her plate this spring.
She will be pushed even harder this week in preparation for Friday’s Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game, but she said the extra stress will be worth the experience.
“It’s honestly such an honor,” Ferguson said. “The metro is packed with phenomenal players and to even be included in such a group is so cool. I can’t wait to be on the same team with some of these players who I have been playing against for years, and then play again with others who I have in the past.”
Two of those familiar teammates will be Bishop Miege’s Madeline Homoly and Olathe South’s Jordan Morton, who played with Ferguson on the MoKan Eclipse AAU team.
Other 913-area girls high school basketball all-stars will be Mill Valley’s Jabria Leggett, SM Northwest’s Tatum Graves, Blue Valley Southwest’s Taylor Westrom and De Soto’s Megan Bonar.
“It’s crazy how many of us knew each other or knew of each other at a pretty young age,” Ferguson said.
The Kansas all-star boys and girls teams, which features top high school seniors from throughout the greater Kansas City area, started practicing on Tuesday and will meet one final time on Wednesday night before playing at 6 p.m. on Friday at Shawnee Mission South High School. The girls game begins at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game 15 minutes after the conclusion of the girls game. There also will be a dunk contest at halftime of the boys game.
There is also an awards banquet on Thursday night at The Ritz Charles in Overland Park, during which the GKCBCA will announce the DiRenna Award winners to the top male and female players high school basketball players in the Kansas City area. Ferguson and Homoly are finalists for the girls award, as is Bishop Miege’s Alston Jones for the boys award.
As for the boys all-star game, Jones leads a list of nine 913-area selections on the roster. Others on the all-star roster are Gardner Edgerton’s Brett Wright, Olathe East’s Javion Blake, SM West’s Louis Rollins, BV Northwest’s Dalton Schoen, Aquinas’ Adam Kutney, BV North’s Cooper Cook, BV West’s Blaise Gammon and SM East’s Lucas Jones.
Cook said he is most looking forward to the chance to play one more time before he makes his college decision later this spring.
“I’m sure it will be a really competitive game and to play with the best players from the Kansas City on the Kansas side will be really fun,” Cook said. “Hopefully, we can represent Kansas well.”
Tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the event and cost $5 for students and $10 for adults. Doors will open at 5 p.m.