Top senior college basketballers from the Greater Grand Rapids area will play in front of their hometown fans in the 2014 College All-Star games this Wednesday night at Davenport's Student Athletic Center.
The series of games are a unique collaboration that has sprung up between the athletic departments of two inter-conference rivals on the basketball court during the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference regular season – Cornerstone and Davenport.
The common ground? It's the Champions of Character program.
“We continue to have major problems in West Michigan with coaches, parents, and game officials that must continue to be addressed;” says Steve Project, associate department chair of Davenport University's sports management program.
The credo of the Champions of Character program is simple – every player, coach, referee, parent, and spectator will commit back to the true spirit (fun) of competition through Respect, Integrity, Responsibility, Servant Leadership, and Sportsmanship.
Project says their goal is to raise $5000-$7500 in support of the "Champions of Character Lecturing Initiative," which will take the Champions of Character program to local, OK Conference high schools.
The 7th annual College All-Star Game series opens with the Women's game at 6:00pm, followed by the Men's game at 7:30pm.
The women's game will feature college seniors from the GR area that went onto play in the WHAC, MIAA, MAC, GLIAC, and even the Big Ten.
But the Men's game will have a unique format, as the college seniors from the WHAC will battle those from the MIAA.
You can expect to see these players in the Men's game (listed by the college they attended):
Isiah Law, 6-5, Grand Haven
Kolin Kazen, 6-4, Saugatuck
Austin Semple, 6-6, Zeeland West
John Schaffer, 6-0, Mott HS
CORNERSTONE Anthony Allen, 5-6, Hudsonville
Jake Plite, 6-7, Sparta
Wes Hudson, 6-0, Wayland
*Alex Lyle, 6-3, Wayland – Alternate
DAVENPORT Mike Betcher, 6-9, Schoolcraft
Jon Prins, 6-5, Rockford
JaVontae Ford, 6-3, FH Northern
DeArmand Davis, 6-7, Mt. Vernon (Ind)
*Brendan Cooper, 6-5, Gabrial Richard – Alternate
Raymoan McAfee, 6-7, Detroit Pershing
UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT/MERCY
Evan Bruinsma, 6-8, Western Michigan Christian
GRACE BIBLE Nick Mascarro, 5-11, Tri Unity Christian
Nick VanLoo, 6-0, Hudsonville
GRAND VALLEY STATE
Rob Woodson, 5-11, Inkster
Nate VanArendonk, 6-10, Grand Haven
Caleb Byers, 6-5, Allegan
*Grant Neil, 6-3, West Ottawa – Alternate
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Cameron Metz, 6-6, Northpointe Christian
Travis Schuba, 6-0, Kalkaska
Bobby Naubert, 5-11, Livonia
Here are the players selected for the Women's game (listed by the school they attended):
Taelor Sanders, 5-8, Dewitt
Marisa Marx, 5-5, Warren Woods
Lindsey Karpowicz, 6-0, Grandville
*Jenna Brower, 5-9, Hopkins (injured)
Taylor Johnson, 5-11 Belding
Niki De Guilo, 5-8 Mt. Vernon (OH)
Katelyn Cousins, 5-7, FH Central
Janae Trombley, 5-6, Yale
Alison Bouman, 6-4, Calvin Christian/Wayne St.
Alex Merz, 5-9, Grand Haven
Jessica Jelsema, 5-8, Hudsonville Unity Christian
Sarah DeShone, 5-7, Jimtown (IN)
GRAND VALLEY STATE
Dani Crandall, 5-9, Eaton Rapids
Anna Kaufman, 5-8, Davenport Central
Kelsey Masserant, 5-11, Novi
*Raven Trammel, 5-4, West Ottawa (injured)
Kelsey Campbell, 5-6, Olivet HS
Chelsea Ciba, 5-7, Olivet HS
Kylie McKay, 5-9, Rockford
In addition, the men's game will be broadcast on ESPN 96.1; coverage begins at 7:00pm.
Tickets are just $5.00 per person or a total of $15 for families!
The All-Star games are a part of the Champions of Character "Who Says You Can't Go Home" series. The high school version of these games will be played June 26th.
D & W and Family Fare have signed on as presenting sponsors for the event, while other official sponsors include Farmer's Insurance, 5/3 Bank, Rockford Construction, Metro Health Sports Med, Mlive and Celebration Cinema.