(PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: TRI STAR ALL STAR VARSITY GIRLS, JESSIE GOODLUCK, SAMANTHA SIMONS, AKOL DENG, AND COHAN CREEPER)
When the Tri Star All Stars began their trip to Texas from Adelaide, Australia they didn’t need reassurance that their basketball community could compete in the states. One of Adelaide’s own, Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, has been a huge success in the NBA. The question was, would they get to meet their hometown hero? This past Saturday, they got to meet Mills after another Spurs win and Patty would be proud of their successful week in San Antonio.
All 3 Tri Star All Star teams competed this past weekend in the Excel Thanksgiving Invitational with the Tri Star Junior Varsity and Varsity boys finishing 2nd in tough Texas High School divisions. The Tri Star Varsity girls went 6-0 over the weekend winning both divisions in convincing fashion.
For the Tri Star Varsity boys, Akol Deng (6’7 210 Ibs) and Cohan Creeper (6’5 230 Ibs) were the anchors of a very well coached Tri Star All Star team. Deng who patterns his game after NBA rebounding legend Dennis Rodman really dominated the paint in Rodman fashion averaging 22.4 pts and 13 rebounds a game in games against the Texas Bandits, San Antonio Outlaws, and San Antonio Flight. Creeper’s patterns his game after Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap in which you can see in his ability to contribute in all aspects of the game. His Shooting and passing ability for a big man is very similar to his favorite player. Creeper racked up 14.2 pts and 7 rebounds a game. Despite the strong numbers of Deng and Creeper the Texas talent was a huge challenge for the boys from Adelaide with a narrow victory against the Bandits and their first loss of the week against the Outlaws.
The Tri Star girls were lead by Samantha Simons (6’1 160 Ibs) and Jessie Goodluck (5’7 145 Ibs). Simons led the girls with 23.1 pts and 9 rebounds per game and patterns her game after the very successful WNBA World Champion and Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi. Like Taurasi , Simons uses her length, athletic ability, and game IQ to dominate the competition. The boys all favored the San Antonio Spurs because of their dynamic team play but Simons has a local favorite professional team in the Forestville Eagles. Jessie Goodluck plays from the back court and patterns her game after her big bro Daniel Goodluck. The sibling rivalry produced 12.3 pts and 7 assists a game this weekend for Goodluck. She feels her team plays like the San Antonio Spurs and prides themselves on the fundamentals and team play the Spurs have become known for.
What a great experience for our hotbed of Texas and San Antonio talent to have an opportunity to compete against the very talented Australians this weekend.
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