The game itself wasn’t the biggest draw Saturday night at the Interscholastic League Field House.
It was the collection of talent that took the court for the first Marcus Walker Grindhouse Basketball All-Star Game.
“I wanted to give back to the city and the kids,” Walker said. “It was a good experience for the kids who were highly recruited but didn’t get to play in big games like the McDonald’s All-Star Game.”
Although there were some hitches getting started, the game was played with 10-minute quarters and without much defense. The contest produced 30 made three-point shots.
With 1 minute, 55 seconds left, the score was knotted at 135-135.
Troy Miller from New Hampshire hit one of two free throws with 1:38 left, giving the Orange a one-point advantage. But the White team took the lead on three free throws by Chauncey Collins from Oklahoma City for good with 1:02 remaining.
The Whites forced a turnover, and Jahmal McMurray from Topeka Highland Park scored on a dunk with 45 seconds left.
The White team, which won 143-138, was coached by former O’Hara and now Winnetonka Coach Todd Magwire.
“There were a lot of high-flying guys out there who can shoot the ball,” Magwire said. “This game is going to grow in the next few years. These guys can say that they had opportunity to play against the best.”
BV Northwest coach Ed Fritz coached the losing Orange team.
“I was just trying to survive and have fun,” he said.
There were players in the game from both Kansas and Missouri. In addition there were players from Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Florida.
SM Northwest’s Brady Skeens said, “This means a lot to play in this game and to be recognized with the best players in the region.”
Clayton Custer of BV Northwest added, “This was fun. We had a good selection of players. Great to be able to compare myself with the top players in the Midwest.”
“We had played from all over the Midwest,” Olathe East’s Ezra Talbert said. “It was great to be chosen to play in this game.”
All three played for the winning White team.
Grandview’s Tyrone Taylor was a member of the Orange team.
“This means a lot,” he said. “It was great that Marcus invited me to play against these top players from the next level.”
The leading scorer for the White team was Chauncey Collins with 25 points. He is from Oklahoma and will be playing next year at Santa Clara.
Skeens and Talbert had 18 points each.
Tori Miller led the Orange team with 23 points. He is from New Hampshire and going to Colorado next year.
BV Northwest’s Vince Fritz had 22 points and Khyir Thomas from Omaha added 21 tallies.