SMITHFIELD – High school basketball season has been over for more than a month, but some of Cache Valley’s top players will be stepping back onto the court this weekend to showcase their talents as part of All-Star Saturday at Sky View High.
The new event, modeled after the NBA All-Star Weekend, is being put on by Next Level Basketball, an organization formed in November by former Sky View and Utah State University basketball players Jalen Moore and Grayson Moore. Saturday will be the first of what the Moore brothers hope will be an annual event.
There will be two games, one for the boys and one for the girls. Players from every high school team in Cache County, as well as players from Box Elder, Bear River and Preston high schools will be participating.
“We’re just going to play it like you would an All-Star game and tell them to have some fun,” Jalen said. “Me and Grayson are going to coach the guys. I’ll take one team and Grayson will take the other.”
The girls’ game will start at 2:45 and the boys’ game will follow it at 4 p.m., but the day’s events will actually start earlier at 12 noon with a skills competition and a 3-point contest. Trophies will be awarded to the winners of each contest and to the game MVPs.
Grayson said he feels he was overlooked coming out of high school. When he graduated from Sky View, he said he wanted to play college basketball but didn’t have anywhere to go.
“I was trying out for teams, luckily made a junior college team, came back after that and was still overlooked again,” he said. “I was trying out everywhere and no one contacted me. I had to do all the contacting. I was begging for spots on teams. In my mind I knew I could play Division I basketball, or at least some type of college basketball.”
The Moore brothers believe there are other players in Cache Valley who experience the same thing, and that is the reason they started Next Level Basketball. Through individual, group and team training they hope to improve the abilities of local players and get them recognized.
“The biggest thing we love is when we work with a kid and their parents come to us and say, ‘Whoa, he’s a completely different player,’” Grayson said.
More information for All-Star Saturday and Next Level Basketball can be found at the organization’s website.