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Origin of Girls' Exposure Basketball in the Southeast

As the offspring of a high school teacher and basketball coach from Tangipahoa Parish and Kentwood, Louisiana, I hold vivid recollections of accompanying my father and his companions to state championship basketball and football games across our state and the region when I was merely six or seven years old. These early experiences, etched into my memory, exposed me to a multitude of exceptional players hailing from Louisiana and Mississippi (boys and girls), laying the groundwork for the unique perspective I would develop.

Around the age of 10 or 11, a transformative moment occurred during a visit to the home of a local legend, Collis Temple, the first African American basketball player to grace LSU's courts. It was during this visit that I stumbled upon a magazine that forever altered my perception of basketball and player recruitment. That magazine was none other than "STREET'S AND SMITH," the nation's premier basketball publication, igniting an intense passion within me. From that day forward, I eagerly awaited each annual edition, devouring its contents to study not only the top talents in our region but also those from across the nation.

This newfound fervor sparked a deep-seated desire within me to assess the players I witnessed firsthand and closely monitor their journeys through college and into their professional careers. At such a tender age, I found myself drawn into the realm of recruiting evaluation, unknowingly embarking on a path that would lead to my involvement in promoting girls' basketball talent in the Southeast.

Returning to the early stages of my journey, my initial passion centered around boys' basketball. During my college years, I immersed myself in coaching boys' AAU basketball, commencing this coaching odyssey at a remarkably young age. Armed with my evaluation skills, I scoured the landscape for the most promising players within my reach, guiding them to AAU State Tournaments and BC All-Star Camps to enhance their exposure.

My association with the BC All-Stars (check out the link) marked a pivotal juncture in my quest to showcase potential college prospects. This collaborative period, spanning from approximately 1981 to 1988, saw my dedication to nurturing young talent soar to new heights.

The invaluable experience garnered through my involvement with the BC All-Stars laid the groundwork for the establishment of the premier girls' basketball exposure camp in the Southeast, known as "Stars of the South." Flourishing from 1994 to 2005, this camp solidified my commitment to fostering emerging female basketball talent in the region.

Without a shadow of a doubt, our camp, "Stars of the South," and our tournament, the "Deep South Classic," served as the inaugural significant platforms for showcasing girls' basketball talent in the southeastern United States. Although numerous notable events have arisen in today's landscape, Stars of the South and the Deep South Classic were the pioneering events for girls' basketball in the Southeast.

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Certainly, while I sparked the initiative for girls' exposure basketball in the Southeast, it wouldn't have been feasible without the unwavering commitment of some remarkable trailblazers. I want to take this opportunity to spotlight them because they are the true heroes of girls' exposure basketball in our region. I might have conceived the idea, but they are the ones who blazed the trail. To each of you, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support, and may God continue to shower you with blessings. Now, let me delve into the untold story!

First and foremost, it's imperative to recognize the influential individuals, state by state, whose tireless efforts have been pivotal in elevating girls' exposure basketball to remarkable success in the Southeast:

These individuals dedicated their time and often their own resources to ensure that we could bring the best of the best from the Southeast to our "elite" exposure events and showcases.

Alabama 

Denise & Gerrod Johnson -Birmingham - AL Roadrunners, 

Emmanuel Bell (RIP)

Kevin Thornton - Gulf Coast

Mike Ellen - AL Elite

Coach Killings - Birmingham

Arkansas - None

Florida 

Kimberly Davis-Powell - Tallahassee - Essence 

Kaola King - Fort Lauderdale HS

Steve Martin - Orlando area

Basketball Bob Corwin - Recruiting Guru

Miguel Diaz, Paul Torres, Obel Cruz - Miami Suns

Denise Novak - Miami Edison HS

James Henry

Stanley Robinson 

LaDawn

(John McGraw - came later)

Georgia

Kevin Powell - GA Liner 76ers

Ken Griffin - GA Liner 76ers

Guy Coleman - GA Dream Team - Stars of the South - Founder

Anthony Jackson - GA Dream Team

Tim Phelps - GA Dream Team

Mike Woods - GA Jaguars - Columbus

Lonnie Freeman - Columbus (RIP)

Kentucky - None

Louisiana

Jack Harrell - Baton Rouge

Matt Young - New Orleans

Terry Addison - Greensburg

Errol Rogers - Lafayette

Gerald McGee - Baton Rouge

Mississippi

Ted Williams - Jackson

Virginia Jackson- Jackson

Faye Norris

North Carolina

Marlon Hardy - Fayetteville

Dee Hardy - Fayetteville

George Williams - Fayetteville

Brian Robinson- Winston Salem Stealers

Ovester Graves - Durham - Tri Angle Lady Knights

Earnie Norris - Raleigh

Wendell Holmes - Raleigh area

Dorian Williams - Fayetteville

South Carolina

Lamont Wakefield - Greenville area

LaCheryl Smith - Greenville area

Willis Holiday -Clemson area

John Ross - SC Stars

Charles Eubanks - SC Stars

Jerome Dickerson - Palmetto 76ers

Tennessee

Jeff Woodard - Memphis - Blues City Runners

Cleve Harris - TN Tigers

Ross Jordan - TN Tigers

Please pay heed to these individuals! They've witnessed numerous outstanding players.

If you believe there are others who deserve recognition but haven't been mentioned, please

send a text to 678-673-8241 to have them added to the list.

NOTE: Despite any claims made by new event operators, organizations, or services about the origins of exposure basketball in the Southeast, it's imperative to acknowledge that the individuals listed above have forged an indelible legacy. When you come across them, they epitomize the spirit of EXPOSURE BASKETBALL!

Special Note: Stars of the South and USA Stars have seen over 100 WNBA Draft Picks come through their camps and events, all thanks to the individuals mentioned above. It's worth noting that 6 of the top 25 WNBA scorers have passed through our events.

All-Time WNBA Scorers

Seimone Augustus (LA)

Dewanna Bonner (AL)

Candice Dupree (FL)

Sylvia Fowles (FL)

Maya Moore (GA)

Lindsey Whalen (MN)

Many, many more great players! Too many to list!

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