An impressive list of area high school basketball standouts have been chosen to participate in the first ever Grizzly All-Star Games April 22 at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
Hosted by the Grizzly basketball program and Dr. Rick Walker of Southern Missouri Orthopaedic Clinic, the event will feature the top senior boys and the top senior girls from varsity high school teams in south-central Missouri and north-central Arkansas, as chosen by a panel of coaches during this past season.
The boys' "Dark Team" will have a local flavor with Justin Rigel of Koshkonong, Alex Wiggs of Alton, along with Layne Hawkins and Brett Ward of Thayer taking the court. Brandon Voyles of Winona, Kyle Cooper of West Plains, Josh Turner of Greene County Tech, Chris Echols of Blytheville, Matt Garner of Jonesboro and Chad Willett of Salem, Ark., will also compete for the Dark Team.
"Light Team" members include Davy McVicker of Summersville, Kwamena Brace of Licking, Jared Jordan and Jake Fester, both of Rolla, Jason Patel of Houston, Joe Bailey and Paul Gregory, both of Eminence, Matthew Hutson of Liberty Faith Christian School, Trevor White of Salem, Mo., and Dylan Peltier of Nixa.
Competing on the girls' "Dark Team" will be LaShanda Horton of Thayer, Elizabeth Pitts of Willow Springs, Tatum Hathcock of Ava, Lindsey Sprague of Seymour, Beth Johnson of East Carter County and Julie Frye of Gainesville.
"Light Team" members include Destanie Gardner of Springfield Parkview, Jenna Gray of Norwood, Jennifer Glenn of Fordland, Gabrielle Doherty of Hartville, Tasha Lewis of Springfield Glendale, and Mandi Fore and Carlissa Turner of Bakersfield.
The teams will be led by coaches from area high schools. Those coaches will be announced in the coming days.
"We are pleased with the response from area high schools," said Brian Ostermann, head coach of the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies men's basketball team. "We are excited to showcase the best players in our area. So many boys and girls are deserving of this recognition, and we are happy to be able to do so."
The girls' game will tip off at 4:30 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7 p.m. Three-point and slam dunk contests will be held at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students and cover both games and the contests. They will not be sold in advance, but will be available one hour prior to the girls' game at the civic center, Ostermann said.
The games also will be broadcast on KSPQ 93.9 FM, owned by Ozarks Radio Network.