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Local hoops stars achieve selection to North-South All-Star basketball game

Four local basketball players and a coach were selected to participate in this summer’s North-South All-Star game in Montgomery during All-Star Sports Week.

The boys and girls squads are made up of two 15-member teams comprising 2021 rising seniors.

Red Bay’s Braden Ray and Russellville’s Chandler Dyas were selected to the boys North squad.

“I feel very blessed to be able to participate in this game,” said Ray. “I am very excited to play with such talent on one team. These are memories that will last a lifetime.”

“I don’t know if any boy from Red Bay has made the North-South team in the past,” said Red Bay Coach John Torisky. “To me, it’s validation for the time he dedicated to basketball, and I am happy to see him getting recognition for all his hard work.”

Dyas, who averaged 17.3 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists, will be teammates with Ray.

“We are very proud of Chandler being chosen,” said Russellville Coach Patrick Odom.  “He had a great year for us and has been a great player for the past few years. He works really hard, and it is great to see hard work get rewarded.”

Belgreen’s Emma Dempsey and Phil Campbell’s Katie Thomas were selected to the girls North squad.

Dempsey was a rock for the Bulldogs in the paint, scoring 392 points and pulling down 318 rebounds on the year.

“It’s an honor to have been selected,” said Dempsey. “I am very thankful God has blessed me with the opportunity to play with and against some of the best in the state.”

“Emma is a great young lady with a lot of talent,” said Belgreen Coach Chad Green. “She is a joy to coach. She does a great job on the court but is also outstanding in the weight room.”

Thomas was a go-to player for the Bobcats, averaging 14 points per game and nine rebounds against a tough schedule.

“It’s a blessing,” said Thomas. “I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. It wouldn’t be possible without my amazing teammates and coaches.

“I see this as just another opportunity to get better and grow as a player and a person.”

Phil Campbell’s Craig Thomas was named a coach for the girls North Squad. Thomas has led the Bobcats to four straight trips to the Northwest Regionals and to the state semifinals.

“It’s a big honor to get to do this,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do it, and it’s just a dream come true.”

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