BURTONSVILLE – 26 varsity boys basketball players representing 17 different high schools from Maryland, Virginia and DC participated in the third annual CKA SAVE Project All-Stars game Monday at Paint Branch High School.
The CKA SAVE Project assists student-athletes with academic and professional development. All participating students must be seniors with at least a 2.5 GPA.
According to CKA SAVE president Keith Adams, players are chosen for the All-Star game months in advance.
“In the summer I’ll go to a couple of camps that are academically focused, and get some more names,” said Adams. “During the holiday tournament, I get two days to see eight teams.”
The players were divided randomly into two teams, Team CKA and Team SAVE.
Team CKA consisted of Ben Stern and Jordan Taylor from Flint Hill; Elliot Brown and Derrick Coleman from Flowers; Kollin Mitchell and Marlon White from Gwynn Park; Kevin Holston and Tyjhai Byers from Bethesda – Chevy Chase; Tavon Tarpley and Nate Shafer from Langley; Lamar Lee-Kane from Coolidge; Zach Bare from St. Paul and Jamel Howard from Tuscarora.
Byers will be playing college ball at Morgan State in the fall. Shafer will be attending Swarthmore.
Team SAVE consisted of Brandon Easton, Bryant Easton and Ryan Albert from Huntingtown; Delascio Dancy, Traevon Benjamin and Trent Bishop from Eleanor Roosevelt; Deion Graves from Chapelgate; Cody Kastner from Urbana; Julian Stover from Richard Montgomery; Chris Conye from JEB Stuart; Omari Joyner from Wheaton; Noah Gear from Bullis and Tyler Stewart from St. Andrews.
Stewart will be playing at Binghamton on a full scholarship. He intends to study journalism in college.
The All-Stars exhibition saw every player get substantial minutes on the court in a game that featured 24 three-point baskets and several dunks. Team SAVE beat Team CKA, 137-121.
Bare had 14 points and received the Team CKA MVP award.
Stewart posted a game-high 23 points and was named the Team SAVE MVP.
“It’s a great opportunity to come out here and play with guys of this caliber for a great cause,” said Stewart.
The senior says he can’t wait to play college ball.
“I’m looking forward to the competitive atmosphere,” he said.
Huntingtown coach Josh Pratt was the head coach of Team SAVE. Paint Branch head coach Chris Bohlen helmed Team CKA.
“It’s great for [the students.] It’s a real celebration of their careers,” said Bohlen about the All-Star game.
“To see the talent out here is amazing,” said Pratt. “Any time you get to coach an all-star game with some talented kids, it’s kind of cool to see what else is out there, talent-wise and the character of the kids. It’s very special.”