Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SPORTS>>McClure has triumphant swan song in Fayetteville

Leader sports editor

Deshone McClure got a second chance at a curtain call Thursday.

This one went his way.

McClure was named the East squad’s outstanding player in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. The former Jacksonville High School standout had 14 points, five assists and three rebounds tohelp the East to an 89-62 victory over the West.

McClure was a junior when Jacksonville won its 6A state championship and his hopes for a return to the finals were squashed in the second round of this year’s state tournament.

“We didn’t have the kind of season we wanted to have this year so the all-star game kind of capped it off for me,” McClure said.

McClure was the only Jacksonville player on the East squad, but he was far from lonely. He was joined by several AAU teammates as well as several former opponents like game MVP Alandise Harris, of Little Rock Central; Daquan Bryant, of crosstown rival North Pulaski; Marcell Mosley, of Marion, and Wynne’s Jerome Weaver.

“I was used to going against them every time I stepped on the court,” McClure said. “I told them, ‘I hope you’re ready for this.’ ”

The East was down by five points at halftime but rallied to outscore the West 42-25 in the second half and hold it to 29 percent shooting.

“It was real fun until the second half because I don’t like losing,” McClure said. “Then it was for real. It was real fun. It was a real fun experience.”

Though he wore the blue jersey of the East, McClure said he still felt like a Red Devil on the court.

“I had to represent Jackson-ville,” McClure said. “I felt like I was carrying my city. I wanted my team to be there.”

McClure is headed to Seminole State Junior College in Seminole, Okla.

The school plays in the National Junior College Athletic Association and finished 21-10 this year and bowed out of the NJCAA Region 2 tournament with a loss to Western Oklahoma State in the final.

While McClure may be pointed toward Oklahoma, he is hoping to use Seminole as a springboard back to Fayetteville.

“My cousin Nick Smith went there,” McClure said of Seminole. “I was going to go to a prep school but now I’m going to try to go to Seminole and then go try to play for the Razorbacks or Ole Miss.”