MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi All-Stars square off Friday night in the 27th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games to be played at Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the Alabama State University campus. The girls’ game will tip off at 5 p.m., and the boys’ game will follow at 7.
The games are hosted by AHSAA with the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) managing the contests in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC).
Both games will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network by the Booker T. Washington Magnet School NFHS School Broadcast program managed by Richard Walker. The AHSAA Radio Network and its broadcast team of Brett Pritchard, Randy Lee and Michael Forehand will handle the play-by-play duties for the live-stream as well as broadcasting the game across the state over its radio and internet network.
The Alabama and Mississippi teams, comprised of current high school seniors, had one practice Wednesday, four practices Thursday and will have a shoot-around Friday afternoon prior to the doubleheader.
The games were played in Mississippi last year with the hosts winning two close games. Mississippi’s girls evened the series at 13-13 with a 78-77 win over Alabama, and the Mississippi boys won 85-83. Alabama’s boys hold a slim 14-12 edge in that series.
Emanuel Bell of Wenonah and Barbara Roy of Locust Fork are the Alabama girls’ all-star coaches. Cold Springs’ Tammy West is serving as administrative coach. Alabama’s boys’ team is being coached by Midfield’s Darrell Barber and Lanett’s Richard Carter. Administrative coaches are David Good of Mountain Brook and Jamie Lee of Grissom.
The Mississippi boys’ team coaches are Clay Norton of Clinton and Kim Windham of Port Gibson. Coaching the Mississippi girls are Sherri Cooley of South Jones and Janna Thompson of Horn Lake.
The talent pool is rich with several Division I signees on each squad. Headlining Alabama’s boys’ team are 6-foot-9 forward Alex Reese of Pelham and 6-7 guard/forward Herbert Jones of Hale County. Both are University of Alabama signees. Austin 6-7 guard/forward Javan Johnson is a Troy University signee, and Spain Park 6-4 guard Jamal Johnson is a Memphis signee. He is the son of former Alabama and NBA standout Buck Johnson. The tallest player of the Alabama team is 6-10 center Garrison Brooks of Auburn, who is heading to Mississippi State.
Mississippi’s boys list six players who have signed with Division I schools, including 6-10 center Galin Smith of Clinton, who is headed to Alabama. Nikolas Weatherspoon, a 6-2 guard from Velma Jackson, is heading to Mississippi State, Oxford 6-1 guard Jarkel Joiner has signed with California State-Bakersfield, 6-6 Pontotoc guard Tyeus Jones is heading to Charleston Southern, 6-4 LaDavius Draine of Calhoun City has signed with Southern Miss, and 6-5 forward LeDarrius Brewer of Meridian is heading to Texas-El Paso.
Alabama’s girls feature guard Jayla Morrow and 6-1 forward Alexus Dye of four-time Class 5A state champion Wenonah. Headlining the talented squad are South Carolina signees Bianca Jackson of Brewbaker Tech and Gadsden City guard Haley Troup. Unique Thompson, a 6-3 forward at Faith Academy, has signed with Auburn, and 6-3 center Queen Ford of Sipsey Valley is heading to Troy University.
Mississippi’s girls include Mississippi State signees Nyah Tate of Terry and Myah Taylor of Olive Branch. Jailin Cherry of Pascagoula is heading to LSU and 6-4 center JaDona Davis has signed with Middle Tennessee State.
THE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC SERIES
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC YEAR-BY YEAR HISTORY
Miss. College, Clinton
Alabama State U.
Jackson State U.
North Alabama, Florence
Holmes JC, Goodman, MS
Series record: Alabama 13 wins; Mississippi 13 wins
Holmes JC, Goodman MS
Series record: Alabama 14; Mississippi, 12 wins