For some, the girls all-star basketball games in Gallup today are one more shot at a possible chance to play college ball. For others, it’s a last hoorah before turning to non-hoops ventures.
Put Clovis High’s Brittany Johnson in the former category and Clovis Christian’s Jennifer Schaap in the latter.
Saturday afternoon, the Class 1A-2A North/South All-Star contest will be staged in Gallup beginning at 3 p.m.. Following that, the all-star selections from Class 4A and 5A will take the court for their game.
Johnson was the lone pick from a Clovis team that advanced to the 5A state quarterfinals. She’ll join the likes of Roswell’s Chantale Riddle and Mayfield’s Jenna Franzoy on the South squad Saturday.
According to CHS coach Jeff Reed, Johnson has received partial scholarship offers to a pair of small colleges, but not enough to offset the cost required to attend those schools. Reed says that Johnson would still like to play college ball if possible.
“You’ve two roads you can go with an all-star game. You can either be the ballhog and be a flashy person or you can be the person who rebounds, passes the ball and does the little things,” Reed said. “Some of the college coaches might look beyond the flash and see who’s doing the fundamental stuff.”
A hard-nosed player while with the Wildcats, Johnson was as apt to dive to the floor for a loose ball as she was to take an open jumper.
“But I did tell her the biggest things was to go have fun with it,” Reed said.
Clovis Christian graduate Schaap earned a scholarship to play volleyball at Eastern New Mexico University next fall and, in all likelihood, the all-star tilt will be her last bit of organized basketball action.
Max Kralicek, the Clovis Christian girls coach, also was the coach for the small-schools South all-star squad a year ago. Like most coaches who have selections to the event, he plans on driving to Gallup — this time just to watch.
“She needs to just be herself, you know,” said Kralicek on his advice for Schaap. “As a coach, you just tell the kids that, ‘Hey, you got here because you’re a good player. You just need to go out on the floor and just play your game.’”
Fort Sumner has two selections to the 1A-2A South squad in recent grads Rachael Chavez and Bree’Anna Lucero while Dora’s Tearney O’Connor will be the lone representative for her school.
Likewise, Holly Harrison was the only pick from Texico to the event that features the best of the most recent senior class in New Mexico.
“It’s always nice when you get some seniors to represent you and Holly did a good job for us this year,” Texico girls basketball coach Ryan Autrey said. “I think the rest of the state recognized that and she was lucky enough to get picked up.”