GREENSBORO — Some of the state’s best athletes have their final fling as high school players this week in the annual N.C. Coaches Association all-star games in Guilford County.
Four local players will take part in the games that feature recent high school graduates divided into East and West teams. Carrboro’s Diamond Tyson and Thar Thwai will play in the women’s basketball and men’s soccer games. Chapel Hill High School’s Alex Moiseenko and Anthony Van Hook will appear in the men’s basketball and women’s soccer exhibitions.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids,” said Tod Morgan, head basketball coach and athletics director at Chapel Hill High. He experienced the NCCA game last year when 2012 CHHS grad Denzel Ingram played for the East basketball team.
“The banquet on Sunday night is just outstanding. Greensboro really rolls out the red carpet for all the players, their parents and the coaches,” Morgan said. “It’s a celebration of all the hard work they’ve put in and the success they’ve had in high school.”
Thwai, who will play next at Catawba, got to experience the all-star atmosphere earlier than most when he and fellow Carrboro alum Mike McPeak played in the Clash of the Carolinas North-South game July 6 in South Carolina.
“I means a lot to me, Thwai said of the post-season honor. “It let’s me know that people think I did something very well throughout my high school career.”
Tyson, who will play at Catawba Valley Community College next semester, had not heard of the all-star games until her coach, Sheremy Clanton, called to tell her she had been selected for the East team.
“I didn’t know what an honor it is to be selected,” said the all-time leading scorer for Carrboro basketball. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Tyson’s future coach at Catawba, Tisha England, played in the NCCA women’s all-star game in 1980. “She said she’ll be there to watch me play,” Tyson said.
For Moiseenko and Van Hook, the games will provide Greensboro fans a preview of two of the newest members of the Spartan athletics program. Both have signed on with UNC Greensboro.
Moiseenko, who also played for Triangle United’s Gold ’95 team, helped Chapel Hill go 19-5-0 last fall despite being injured in the early part of the season. The Tigers ended up ranked No. 9 in the state with her staring at center back.
“Even while she was injured, she came out to practice every day and helped the other player with her positive attitude. She’s always upbeat,” said CHHS coach Ron Benson.
“She’s a great defender but could play up front anytime. She’s very good in the air and is just deadly on dead balls.”
Van Hook averaged a double-double of 16 points a game and 11 rebounds a game for the Chapel Hill boys’ basketball team (24-5) that won the Carolina-Six Conference championship.
Morgan thinks it took more than that to catch the eyes of the NCCA selection committee.
“When the people selecting the teams asked me about him, they were very impressed by him as a player and person. … One thing that really impressed them was the way he played against other elite players.”
In a head to head matchup with North Carolina freshman Isaiah Hicks, Van Hook scored 25 points and Hicks had 20. Against Tyrone Outlaw of Roxboro Person, Van Hook scored 27 and Outlaw had 18.
Morgan is also delighted that CHHS will have a player in the game for a second straight year.
“It’s very rare to have a school with a players selected two years in a row. That speaks well of the kids we have in our program, and it speaks well of the success we’ve had.”