Photo by Heather Middleton
By Derrick Mahone
Marcus Hunt was not too familiar with the names of his teammates in Saturday's Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South Junior Showcase game.
The North Clayton junior knew more players on the opposing North roster.
For him, it will serve as added motivation when he takes the court for the South squad at Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah.
"I'm looking forward to the game," said the 6-foot-5 Hunt, who was recently named the Southern Crescent Clayton County Player of the Year. "I'm just looking to enjoy myself, and help my team win."
Hunt will be joined on the South roster by Lovejoy's Justin Tuoyo and Charles Mann of Union Grove. Ashlee Cole of Forest Park is the lone area girl's player on the South squad.
Cole, who helped led the Lady Panthers to the Class AAAA championship game, was named Southern Crescent Clayton County Player of the Year.
"Most of the guys that I know are on the North roster," said Hunt, who averaged 26.2 points and 15 rebounds this season. "I want to win and do good because I know they will give me a hard time about it."
Hunt plays AAU ball with several of the North squad members, including Brandon Morris of Miller Grove. Last weekend, Hunt was named MVP of an AAU tournament.
"This is such great exposure for Marcus," North Clayton coach Martisse Troup said. "The 2012 class is shaping up to be one of the best in recent history in the state. Marcus was able to accomplish a lot of things this season as a junior."
Tuoyo, a 6-foot-9 center, is also rated as one of the top juniors for next season. He helped lead the Wildcats to the Class AAAA quarterfinals after averaging 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots per game.
Mann, a 6-4 forward, averaged double figure points and rebounds in helping led the Wolverines into the first round of the state playoffs. Cole averaged 18 points, 2.5 assists and 2.6 steals as the Lady Panthers won the Region 4-AAAA championship and finished state runner-up to Fayette County.
"We are looking to see more leadership out of Ashlee next season," said Forest Park coach Steven Cole, Ashlee's father.