BURTONSVILLE – 24 varsity girls basketball players gathered at Paint Branch High School on Monday to participate in the third annual CKA SAVE Project All-Stars game.
Coach Keith Adams founded the CKA SAVE Project to assist student-athletes both on the court and in the classroom. Each participating player is a high school senior and boasts at least a 2.5 GPA.
Eleven Maryland high schools were represented in the girls All-Star game.
The players were separated into two teams, Team CKA and Team SAVE. Coach Becky Hackett from Urbana led Team CKA. Wheaton’s Michelle Snape coached Team SAVE.
“Keith Adams was recruiting and scouting to pick the best selection [of players] that he thought would be a good mix,” said Snape.
Team CKA consisted of Hazel Carmona and Paige Hailstock from Rockville; Madeline Cederlane, Regan Lohr, Christine McKee and Kendall Bresee from Urbana; Bailee White, Bianca White, and Samantha Howell from Bethesda – Chevy Chase; and Autumn Ashe, Tatyana McClaney and Sofi Ngwafang from Paint Branch.
The players on Team SAVE were Kaylan Jackson, Gabby Haddad, Jamiere Jefferies, and Renee Anya from Clarksburg; Khadijah Pearson and Stephanie Obia from Kennedy; Angel Ellerbe and Natori Nesbit from Central; Dalina Julien from Einstein; Olivia Barnes from Wise; Erin Sparrow from Poolesville and Uchechi Ufochkwu from Carroll.
Team CKA was victorious over Team SAVE, 86-72.
Bailee White earned a game-high 16 points. Her twin sister Bianca was named MVP for Team CKA.
Haddad received the MVP award for Team SAVE.
Julien said she was honored to be chosen to play in the All-Star game.
“I was one of the top scorers of my team,” she said. “Playing for Einstein, you don’t think that you get noticed as much. It’s good to see that people are still noticing the progress that you’re making over the years.”
Hackett said it was a challenging to coach multiple players from different teams to work as a unit.
“We tried to get them talking to each other so when they stepped onto the floor, they can create a little bit of chemistry,” she said. “They figured it out pretty quick. I just told them to have fun, play hard and let it fly, and they did.”