ESCANABA - A gym that has been home to some of the finest high school basketball players in Upper Peninsula history will host a group of the past season's best players.
The 27th annual U.P. All-Star Classic will be played at St. Ignace LaSalle High School next Saturday, bringing together most of the top seniors among the girls and boys.
The girls game is at noon, the boys at 2 p.m. The competition will be preceded by a special skills contests.
These photos highlight two of the area’s six recent high school graduates who have been chosen to play in the U.P. All-Star Clasic in St. Ignace next Saturday. Courtney Waara of Negaunee, right, dribbles around Gladstone’s Whiney Wells during a game played at Lakeview Memorial Gymnasium on Jan. 31. (Journal file photo by Matt Keiser)
Players like Nicole Elmblad, Krista Clement and sisters Randi and Mandi Johnson have helped make the St. Ignace girls a dynasty in Class C. Eddie Lester, Greg LaTour, Steve MacDonald and Jim Clement are among boys who have helped the Saints gain recognition.
Now, all stars from throughout the U.P. will play in their footprints, including four who earned all-state honors this season.
Jaime Madalinski of Bark River-Harris and Olivia Nash of Escanaba will be on the South girls team, while Jordan LaPlant of Ewen-Trout Creek and Kenya Oas of Munising will be with the North boys.
Madalinski, who hold her school's scoring record of 1,623 points, has indicated she plans to try out for the women's basketball team at Northern Michigan University as a walk-on.
The game is sponsored by the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame, which uses proceeds to help fund scholarships for U.P. athletes. Scholar-athletes each receive $500 a year for college.
Madalinski will be joined by scholarship recipients Megan Kangas of Norway and Zach French of Westwood in the games. Andrew Kelto of Munising also earned a scholarship.
For eight basketball players, this will be the first of two straight all-star appearances as they report to Marquette Monday for a week of practice for the June 30 U.P. Football All-Star Game.
They include Oas and Kyle Tiglas of Manistique.
The night before the game, players will be treated to a boat tour of the Mackinac Straits, including a pass under the Mackinac Bridge, and a stop on Mackinac Island.
The rosters follow:
Taylor Dillinger and Joey Carroll, Houghton; Olivia Suomis, Ontonagon; Audrey Sholander and Tanner Bartczak, Forest Park; Whitney Frazier, Brimley; Allyssa Lindberg, Marquette; Courtney Waara, Negaunee; Megan Manninen, Westwood; Shannon Koski and Jaclyn Waara, West Iron County; Gertie McGeshick, Watersmeet. Coach, Greg Trowbridge, Superior Central.
Jammie Botruff and Whitney Wells, Gladstone; Olivia Nash, Escanaba; Rikki Gingras, Iron Mountain; Megan Kangas, Norway; Morgan MacArthur and Krista Metcalfe, Engadine; Gaby Cappaert, Stephenson; Lauren Goldthorpe, St. Ignace; Jaime Madalinski, Bark River-Harris; Kelly Bintner and Heather Sanderson, Rapid River; Taylor Granquist, North Central. Coach, Karl Dollhopf, Gladstone.
Riley and Steve Angeli, Sault Ste. Marie; Andy Steber, Calumet; Kenya Oas, Munising; Jordan LaPlant, Ewen-Trout Creek; Zach French, Westwood; Tyler Wilson, Rudyard; Michael Kuenzer, Brimley; Jacob Ludtke, Bessemer; Garrett Warren, Chassell. Coach, Dan Waterman, Munising.
Jeff Gregory, Kingsford; Josh Beauchamp and Ty Thomann, Iron Mountain; Caleb Pellizer, West Iron County; Kyle Tiglas, Manistique; Jacob Kleiman, Bark River-Harris; Lucas Moreau, Carney-Nadeau; Bryce Bilski, North Central; Bryon Harper and Cory Johnson, North Dickinson. Coach, Dan Olkkonen, Kingsford.