OHIO – KENTUCKY ALL-STAR BASKETBALL GAME
The Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game originated as an idea to help a charity sponsor, the Ronald McDonald House, by organizing an All-Star Basketball Game between senior boys and girls from the states of Ohio and Kentucky.
The men that created the game and organized this annual event are Randy Ward, a Kentucky High School Basketball Coach for over thirty years, now retired and Dick Spencer, a State Farm Insurance Agent in Portsmouth, Ohio; who is a long time agent and businessman in the Southern Ohio area. The All-Star Game organized in 1991, with the first games being played between boys and girls occurring in April of 1992 at the James A. Rhodes Athletic Cneter on the campus of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Many others joined in to make the game a huge success. Al Parsley, a local owner of the Southern Ohio McDonald’s Franchises, who originally became the game’s sponsor. Mike Thoroughman, a retired local area High School Principal in Kentucky. Fred Brisker, a local Portsmouth area Insurance Businessman owning Brisker Associates and Norm Persin, a highly successful Basketball Coach in the Southern Ohio area at Oak Hill High School. Then Cindy Halbert, Girls Basketball Coach at Pikeville High School, after coaching in the All-Star Game, became a member of the All-Star Committee. Kelly T. Ward, of the FIVCO Area Development District Government Agency, also agreed to join the All-Star Committee as a consultant and head up the Kentucky All-Star Boys Committee. These people perform many hours of service to make sure the Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game is a continuing success.
The All-Star Basketball Game had grown immensely over an 11-year period, also having a local radio broadcast for ten of those eleven years, and also having had television broadcast over the Southeastern Kentucky area for five of the eleven years. Due to the increasing popularity of the All-Star Game the All-Star Committee was then forced into the possibilty of finding larger accomodations for the annual basketball event.
Again, the Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game had originally been held at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio since its inception, before moving to Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky in 2002. The move to Thomas More College was due to the game reaching a point where the committee evaluated the All-Star Game and realized that the All-Star Game must have a metropolitan site to continue it’s ongoing success. This is due to the need of more media coverage and the availability of an airport for the coaches and recruiters. The results took on a startling record for then 11-year old game. We always have an abundance of College Coaches every year in attendance for the All-Star Game. The All-Star Game is now played at the Connor Convocation Center is one of the finest small college facilities in the country. The All-Star Game usually has about 1,500 people in attendance as well, which is the maximum capacity in the Connor Convocation Center on the campus of Thomas More College.
Over the last few of years the Boys All-Star Basketball Game has showcased several of both of the states top basketball talent. The Kentucky Squad has included Anthony Epps, Antwain Barbour, Patrick Sparks, Jarrod Polson, and Ravi Moss of the University of Kentucky, Chris Lofton (Univ. of Tennessee), Terrance Farley and Chris Current (Univ. of Louisville), Anthony Hickey (LSU), Justin Doellman (Xavier Univ.), and Daniel Dillon (Univ. of Arizona) . The Ohio Squad has included Aaron Craft, Terence Dials, Ron Lewis, Matt Sylvester, and Matt Terwillger from The Ohio State University, Josh Duncan and Johnny Wolf (Xavier Univ.), Nathan Peavy and Danny Horace (Miami (OH) Univ.), Andrew Burleson (Wright State Univ.), and Cam Thoroughman (West Virginia Univ.), and Travis Trice (Michigan State Univ.). Also, the Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game has been very fortunate also in its short span to have had several NBA players on its past rosters, Trey Burke (Univ. of Michigan & Utah Jazz), C.J. McCollum (Lehigh Univ. & Portland Trail Blazers), James Posey (Xavier Univ. & Miami Heat), Kevin Martin (Western Carolina & Houston Rockets), Donta Smith (Southeastern Illinois Univ. & Atlanta Hawks), Romain Sato (Xavier Univ. & San Antonio Spurs), Calvin Booth (Penn State & Washington Wizards), Sam Clancy (Univ. of Southern California & Philadelphia 76ers).
James Posey Kevin Martin Sam Clancy
Romain Sato Calvin Booth Donta Smith
Not to be outdone, the Girls All-Star Basketball Game Rosters are always loaded every year as well, having showcased several Miss Basketballs of both states playing in the All-Star Game. The All-Star Game has had numerous Divison I basketball players on both of the rosters not to mention that Shawnee State University women’s team won a National Championship, with 12 Ohio – Kentucky All-Stars on their roster.
The Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game will celebrate its 25th year anniversary in the upcoming April 2016 Game. The basketball series for the Boys All-Star series stands with Ohio winning sixteen games and Kentucky winning eight games. For the Girls All-Star series, Kentucky holds a lead with thirteen victories to Ohio’s ten victories.
Players and Coaches alike participating in Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game over the past 24 years have made the game a great success. We have had several major college (Men’s and Women’s) head coaches in attendance, allowing the All-Star Game to become a college recruiter’s dream.
The Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game is proud to have Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky of the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area as the site of our annual Charity All-Star Basketball Game. The All-Star Game has continued to grow and the All-Star Committee feels with the cooperation of Thomas More College the Ohio – Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game will become even greater.
Connor Convocation Center