MONTGOMERY, Alabama — (AHSAA) The boys’ and girls’ all-star teams for Mississippi and Alabama reported to Montgomery Wednesday afternoon and were scheduled to undergo a workout Wednesday night.
The 31st annual Alabama-Mississippi Classic will tip off Friday night at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex at 5 p.m., with the girls’ all-star game. The boys’ all-star game will follow at 7 p.m. AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV will televise both games live over the AHSAA TV Network. The games will also be live-streamed over the wotm.tv and the NFHS Network. The Alabama Radio Network will broadcast both games live as well.
Caleb Brooks and Luke Robinson will handle the commentary for the Radio Network. Mississippi will also pick up the live video feed from WOTM and transmit back to Mississippi over its network.
Alabama won last year’s games played in Mississippi and currently own a 16-14 edge in the boys’ and girls’ series.
Alabama boys’ all-star head coach Steve Ward of Huffman High School said he is eager to see just what the players can do. “We have a lot of talent on this team, players who have a lot of different skills who can play a number of positions,” he said. “This is one of the most talented teams Alabama has had in a long time.”
Mike Chase of Spain Park, head coach for the Alabama girls’ all-star squad, said he’s coached against at least six girls on the Alabama squad this season and has seen all of them at one time or another during summer AAU play. “My daughter is a year behind them and has played with or against most of players at one time or another,” said Chase, like Ward, is coaching for the first time in the Alabama-Mississippi Classic. “I have coached in the North-South All-Star Game three times,” he said. “No doubt, the talent level here on one team is extraordinary. I am looking forwarding to working with kids from the southern part of the state.”
Headlining the Alabama boys’ squad is 2020 Mr. Basketball J.D. Davison, a 6-4 guard who was recently named to the 2021 McDonald’s All-America Team. He averaged 32.4 points a game this season for Calhoun High School to lead the AHSAA in scoring. The University of Alabama signee is a virtual highlight reel most nights out. He closed out the Tigers’ season with a 45-point effort in an 81-77 loss to eventual 2A state champion Midfield in the AHSAA state tournament semifinals last week. Hartselle guard Brody Peebles, a Liberty University signee, also averaged over 30 ppg this season for the Tigers, and 6-3 guard Cam Crawford of Spain Park scored just under 16 ppg to lead the Jags to the 7A state tourney.
KeShawn Murphy, a 6-foot-11 Mississippi State signee from Ramsay, averaged 17.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and had 84 blocks this past season for the Class 5A runner-up Rams. He is best remembered for his towering dunk that brought the goal down – a video that went viral across social media earlier this season.
Alabama’s girls have plenty of scoring power at the guard position too with Randrea Knight of Carver-Montgomery, Saniah Parker of Mae Jemison, Jenna Walker of Priceville, Allasha Dudley of Anniston and Amiya Payne of Hewitt-Trussville each leading their teams to the state finals this season. Each has averaged more than 20 ppg this season with Wright averaging 23.8 and Payne, 21.3 ppg. Tennessee signee Karoline Striplin, a 6-3 center, averaged 26.8 points, 16.8 rebounds and shot 87 percent at the foul line (177 of 204) this season. Sara Puckett of Muscle Shoals is another Tennessee signee on the Alabama girls’ roster.
Thursday’s schedule includes two workouts for each team with Alabama’s boys and girls scheduled for a morning and afternoon practice session at Montgomery Academy. The morning drills are scheduled from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., and the afternoon drills from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Mississippi’s all-stars will conduct drills at the same time with the boys at Park
Crossing High School for the morning session and the girls at the Multiplex. The two teams swap sites for the afternoon session. Both squads plan to enjoy an evening of bowling Thursday night.