Two college-bound freshman from the Wilmington area played in their final high school related function on Monday night as Trae Bryant (Hoggard) and Gray Cheers (West Brunswick) participated at the 2015 North Carolina Coaches Association (NCCA) East-West All-Star Game at Greensboro Coliseum.
The girls and boys basketball games kicked off the three-day event, with all-star soccer and football games to be held today and Wednesday.
An annual week that highlights standout players who just graduated from high school, this year’s showcase features several players who will be competing for various universities across the country beginning later this year.
In the early tip-off, South View High School star Chinyere Bell guided the East to an 84-72 victory. N.C. State recruit Kaila Ealey led all scorers with 18 points.
The nightcap featured a plethora of big time plays as the West stormed back from a double-digit deficit in the second half only to be held off in the final minutes in a 122-115 win for the East.
Shaun Kirk (Whiteville), an N.C. State recruit, finished with 23 points. Bryant went 4-of-6 from the floor and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists, while Cheers chipped in with nine points and five boards.
Bryant was named Mideastern Conference Player of the Year after helping guide Hoggard to a share of the conference title and tournament championship. The Vikings advanced to the third round of the state playoffs thanks to the work of Bryant, who closed his senior campaign averaging 17.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. Bryant will play basketball next semester at UNC-Asheville.
Cheers announced intentions to play at NCAA Division III Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. The Tigers play in the Old Dominion Conference. Cheers was the 2014 Mideastern Conference Player of the Year and helped lead West Brunswick to the 3A East Regional that year.
The Trojans went 25-4 overall this year and 10-2 in the split 3A/4A Mideastern Conference. West Brunswick went on a 20-game winning streak to start the season, took first place in the regular season standings and advanced to the third round of the state tournament. Cheers was the team’s top scorer during his senior year.