TAMPA — Jefferson High School played host to the 26th annual United Negro College Fund All-Star Basketball Classic on Friday night, showcasing some of the top seniors in the Tampa Bay area.
In all-star games, fans can usually anticipate seeing a few fastbreak dunks, dazzling ballhandling, and a lot of 3-point shots. And while there were a couple of dunk attempts and some flashy dribbling that drew a few ooh's and ahh's, the 3-point shot proved to be the biggest factor in this all-star contest.
The East team connected on nine 3-pointers and blew away the West 62-31 in front a packed house. The first four baskets for the East were 3-pointers as it raced out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half. King's Chauncey Day led the way with 14 points for the East, 10 of which came in the first half. Day was named the game's MVP.
"It was a lot of fun," Day said. "The hard work paid off."
Already leading by 13 at the half, the East began the second half on a 19-7 run. The 3-point barrage continued as the East connected on five more long-range bombs in the second half.
Blake's Curtis Fountain led the way for the West with 14 points.
Wharton's Da-Vonte Lamar won the 3-point contest, connecting on nine shots. Tampa Catholic's Antonio Rubio took home the dunk contest crown with an array of high-flying jams. Doing his best Dr. J impression, Rubio took off from just inside the free-throw line to slam one home and electrify the crowd.
But aside from the basketball awards, perhaps the highlight of the night belonged to Fon Njoh of Robinson High. Njoh was honored at halftime for earning the highest GPA of all classic participants, maintaining a 6.2 average.
In earlier action, the East girls squad was victorious over the West 45-33. Spoto's Brianna Thomas was named MVP and Durant's Taylor Broadnax won the 3-point contest.