South Jersey Boys’ Basketball Stand...

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Mar 31, 2018
South Jersey Boys’ Basketball Stand... South Jersey Boys’ Basketball Standouts Excelled in Final Time to Showcase Their Skills
It’s always an emotional time when high school players take the court for a final time. That was the case in Sunday’s 41stannual Albert J. Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey Senior All-star game.

The teams played expanded minutes, scored extra points and most importantly, the participants seemed to have a good time.

Plus they participated in an event that has not only become a local tradition, but has provided so much for those in need.

Under the guidance of president William G. Thomas, the previous 40 all-star game have provided a total of 240 scholarships totaling $139,500 to assist South Jersey basketball players toward their college education.

The Lions Clubs in District 16-L have also received an amount of $125,000 over the previous 34 years and have donated their monies to several charities.

Plus it’s a chance for some of the best seniors in South Jersey to have fun. Of course, one can see why the various players were picked for this game.

Even though it’s supposed to be a fun encounter, these players are all-stars for a reason. They get highly competitive, especially when the game is close as it was tied at 144 before the Blue team broke away for a 152-146 win.

Sure, the defense was lacking, but the game was also longer, with 12 minute quarters.

For most of the game, each team would sub players in four-minute intervals. There were 15 players per team.

One of the true standouts was Blue team MVP Ray Bethea Jr. a 6-5 swingman from Atlantic City who is headed to Howard.

As usual, Atlantic City had one of the top teams in South Jersey. The Vikings went 25-5 and advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 final before losing to Shawnee, the eventual state Group 4 champ and consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey.

Bethea scored 32 points. He was dominant inside but also hit two three-pointers.

“I know it’s an all-star game, but you play to win and it felt good to come out with the victory,” he said.

Bethea has earned a scholarship to Howard and he said he is versatile enough to play either guard position. Due to his outstanding leaping ability, he could also play small forward.

The MVP of the White team was Myles Thompson,a 6-6 forward from Camden who scored 23 points and is headed to Division I St. Francis (PA). He also showed good range in his game with an ability to finish near the basket.

The other good aspect of the all-star game is that it attracted so many college coaches. While players such as Bethea and Wildwood Catholic senior Caleb Fields, who will attend Bowling Green, have Division I scholarships, many still don’t.

In fact many will be recruited by Division II or III schools. There were many four-year and junior college coaches at the game, and some of the players were able to make new contacts.

So based on the fine job that the Carino Club does, the players got one final time to showcase their considerable skills and they didn’t disappoint the appreciative crowd.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Camden's Myles Thompson coverts two of his team-high 23 points for the White team.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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