On Saturday, April 7, Sacramento’s top seniors will compete in the 41st Annual Optimist High School Basketball All Star Games.
According to the Optimist Game website, these games “provide the top senior athletes of Sacramento and Greater Sacramento the venue to showcase their skills and prowess.”
The games honor athletes and their schools, and an athlete’s selection “reflects the culmination of their hard work, diligence, and excellence in this sport and school,” the site said.
But for the first time ever, the event will include a “Small Schools” game, for schools in Div. IV-VI, because “too many talented and deserving players were overlooked with the former format,” according to the site.
Due to this change, SCDS will be one of the most represented schools there.
SCDS head coach David Ancrum was selected to coach the Small Schools North Boys’ Team in its inaugural game.
But Ancrum will not be alone on the sidelines. He will be joined by former assistant coach (and Hiram Johnson head coach) Gary Briscoe and assistant coach Rich Lugowski.
And after two weeks of tryouts, SCDS seniors Cole Johnson, Bryce Longoria and Reggie Fan have been selected for the team.
“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the top players (amongst the small schools),” Fan said.
Despite being a small school, SCDS’s legacy lives on in the Large School game as well.
Former students Jayce McCain and Rick Barros III will be playing for the Boys’ South Large team.
McCain and Barros, who attend Folsom High School and Capital Christian School respectively, both competed in the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal Open Division bracket, where McCain led Folsom to a win over Salesian College Preparatory High School, the number-one ranked team in the state.
Now that his high school career is coming to a close, McCain reflected on his journey, saying that it’s been “different.”
“It’s been a movie,” McCain said.
“I never would have thought that I would be transferring, let alone moving to Folsom. It’s been crazy but dumb lit.”
Because this game will be the first time the two have played with each other since 2016, Barros said he’s looking forward to it.
“It’ll be fun playing with one of my brothers again,” Barros said.
“(It) should be a good show.”
So what about next year?
Barros said he hasn’t committed to a school but is still talking to colleges.
However, McCain will continue his basketball career at Cal State San Marcos on a full athletic scholarship.
“I am happy that all my hard work paid off and my parents don’t have to pay for college,” McCain said.
If you want to witness these Cavaliers’ last stand, the Small Schools Boys’ Game is at noon and the Large Schools game is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at Sacramento High School (2315 34th St.).
—By Jake Longoria