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Tri-County All-Star Basketball Game to feature 40 players

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Rocky Mount Prep's Kalil Baker looks to pass while advancing the ball Saturday during the NCHSAA 1-A state playoffs third round game against East Carteret at Rocky Mount Prep.

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BY JESSIE H. NUNERY
Sports Editor

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

There will be area basketball in May.

The inaugural Tri-County High School Basketball All-Star game will be played May 12 at Rocky Mount High School and will consist of 40 area seniors from high schools in Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson Counties.

The rosters will consist of 20 boys and 20 girls. There will be a game for each gender, and final rosters will be decided by the all-star game’s committee with heavy input from local area coaches who received information packets this week.

"Working with our youth and skill development programs and two AAU programs in Rocky Mount, we've come across a lot of high school seniors that we felt had a great opportunity to go to the next level,” RiseUp! Elite Sports Academy, Inc. founder Tizzo Johnson said. “With that said, (RiseUp! coach) Willie Kearney and I decided there was a lot of potential in the area. What we want to do is expose these seniors, give them one last push to showcase their skills, and give the community an opportunity to come together."

While some details remain in planning stages, Johnson said the community will be able to see tangible benefits from the game. All proceeds from the game will go to a pair of local non-profit organizations, and there already are three scholarships planned to be given out to seniors, including one from RiseUp!, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Crawford Lane Memorial Scholarship, and the Shelby Williams Sewell Award.

The Tri-County All-Stars will have a full game-day, all-star experience on May 12. The players will volunteer at a local, non-profit agency in the morning before enjoying a welcome lunch at the Impact Center in Rocky Mount with Pastor James D. Gailliard serving as the featured speaker.

The Impact Center, Q4 Sports and Power 95.5 are one of just a few businesses who have committed themselves as sponsors, and the Telegram will aid in coordination of the event.

Basketball season will have been two months from completion, but Johnson said the opportunity for the community to gather around the sport and each other is something rare and special.

“We believe there is a great deal of talent in the area that gets overlooked, and we want to shed some light on these seniors,” Johnson said. “They will all come together on one court, and you might have never seen them play with each other outside of a pickup game. To put them on one stage is a great thing that will bring the community together.”

Area business that are interested in joining a growing list of sponsors can contact riseupesa@gmail.com or contact RiseUp!’s Willie Kearney at 252-886-0571.

More information will be available in print and web editions of the Telegram in future dates.

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