The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) will host its first ever All-Star game for men's basketball the weekend of April 22, and Missouri State University-West Plains will be represented in that inaugural event by Grizzly basketball standout Tyrone Brazelton.
Brazelton, a 5-11 sophomore point guard from Park Forest, Ill., is one of 10 players from Division I NJCAA schools selected to compete against the 10 best players from the Texas Eastern Athletic Conference (TEAC) in the NJCAA Basketball Coaches All-Star Classic's feature game at Kilgore College in Killgore, Texas.
"It's a great honor to play in such an event," said Brazelton, a two-time all-Region 16 team honoree and this year's Region 16 Player of the Year. "I am proud to represent Missouri State-West Plains. I would really like to thank my teammates, my coaches and all of our fans. I would not have made it without everyone helping me and pushing me."
"Tyrone is very deserving of this honor, and I am happy for him," Grizzly Head Coach Brian Ostermann said. "It's great for our program to be represented in this prestigious event, and it's a great way for Tyrone to cap off his career at Missouri State-West Plains. Tyrone has been a joy to coach for two years, and we will all miss him. We will watch his future unfold from afar, but we will always be there for him."
Players were chosen to compete in the event by executive officers of the NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association, in conjunction with junior college talent evaluators and sports writers, according to association officials.
A quick look at Brazelton's statistics as a Grizzly shows why the selection committee chose him for the team. He finished his sophomore season averaging 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He shot 41 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from 3-point range and 73.7 percent from the charity stripe. His career statistics with the team put him in third place in assists with 289, fourth in points scored with 974 and fourth in points scored in a season with 604 this year.
In addition to the game between the NJCAA D-1 and TEAC players, the weekend's activities will include a separate game for NJCAA Division II and III players and a luncheon banquet on April 22 featuring famed ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla. The event is being sponsored by New Balance, according to information from the NJCAA.
"The NJCAA Basketball Coaches Executive Committee believes that this event will garner national attention for junior college basketball," said Scott Schumacher, president of the NJCAA Basketball Coaches Association and head coach at Kilgore College. "We've gotten support from people across the board -- not only from NJCAA coaches and executives, but also from NCAA Division I, II and III personnel, New Balance Athletic Apparel and several other groups."