DENVER | While they hope to go head-to-head in the coming days with the Class 5A boys state basketball championship on the line, five Aurora boys basketball players will be able to suit up one more time at The Show boys all-star game April 4.
The possibility exists that Eaglecrest’s Blend Avdili and brothers Colbey and Elijah Ross could face off against Overland’s Austin Conway and De’Ron Davis for the 5A boys state title this upcoming weekend in Boulder, but they will definitely go against each other in The Show.
The Blue and Gold teams were picked by a panel of Nuggets officials and sportswriters and sportscasters from around Colorado, including the Aurora Sentinel, and includes at least one player from the 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A classifications.
The Show boys game is scheduled to be played at 3 p.m. April 4 at the Pepsi Center as part of a tripleheader with The Show girls game at 1:30 p.m. and the Nuggets against the Los Angeles Clippers slated for 7 p.m.
Avdili and the Ross brothers are believed to be the first threesome from the same team selected to play in the boys Show game and all three had big games over the weekend in Eaglecrest’s 64-49 win over Legend in the Great 8 at the Denver Coliseum.
The Raptors’ trio will be part of the Blue Team at The Show along with big man Zach Pirog of ThunderRidge, the team they’ll try to beat in Friday night’s semifinals to reach Saturday’s state championship game.
“I was hoping I made it last year, but it feels really good to make it my last year and it’s special to share it with Elijah and Colbey,” said Avdili, a first team All-City selection last season who has averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game thus far for the 21-5 Raptors.
Avdili said he attended The Show in 2013 when former teammate TreShawn Wilford — who will be his future college team at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs — played in it and he loved the “fun atmosphere.”
Elijah Ross, who is also set to play at UCCS, didn’t get to watch Wilford play in the 2013 game, but has always aspired to get a chance to play in it.
“I’ve always wanted to do this, so it’s a great opportunity and a great honor,” said Ross, who leads Eaglecrest this season in assists (4.6 apg) and steals (1.9 spg) and is third in scoring at 12.3 ppg.
“I know there’s only been a handful of guys out of Eaglecrest that have been able to make The Show, so it’s been a big motivation for us to change that. …It’s more special that Colbey’s in with me. I don’t think either of us were too sure we’d be able to make this game, but it’s great knowing I got to play with him the whole year and this game, too.”
Colbey Ross was very pleased to make The Show in just his sophomore year — a relative rarity in the 15-year history of the all-star game — but has built a strong resume with his team-best average of 17.3 points per game to go with 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals.
“I never thought as a sophomore I would be able to be in this with all these great players,” he said.
The Gold Team will feature the Overland duo of Conway and Davis, who each got picked for The Show for a second straight season. Davis, a 6-foot-9 junior center, will make his third trip to the all-star game.
Overland (21-5) is set to face Denver East in the Final Four on Friday, with Conway and Davis as two of the driving forces behind the top-seeded Trailblazers’ push for a state championship.
Conway has signed with the University of Wyoming and is grateful for the chance to play one more meaningful game in the state, no matter what happens at the conclusion of the state tournament.
“It’s going to be the last time I get to play in an organized Colorado basketball game, so that is a big reason to go out and have as much fun as I can,” said Conway, who is tied with junior Reggie Gibson for the Overland lead with 4.5 assists per game along with 10.7 points.
“After that, I’m going to play for another state, so that in itself will bring a lot of excitement to the game for me,” he added.
The only thing Conway wasn’t looking forward to was facing the Blue Team backcourt that features the Ross brothers and Denver East senior star guard Brian Carey, who he will have to try to stop in Friday night’s semifinals if Overland wants to earn a shot to win its first ever state basketball championship.
“That’s a hard combination, especially if they put all three of those guys on the floor together,” Conway said.
Davis leads the Trailblazers in three statistical categories this season — with averages of 16.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots per game — and is looking forward to another chance to play in The Show.
“All of us grew up together, so that makes it a lot of fun,” Davis said. “And playing with Austin again in his last year is a blessing.”
Conway and Davis are two of just three players returning from last year’s Show game, with Colorado Academy’s Justin Bassey the other.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
2015 BOYS THE SHOW ALL-STAR ROSTERS
BLEND AVDILI, EAGLECREST; Justin Bassey, Colorado Academy; Brian Carey, Denver East; Chuck Gavin, Denver South; Grant Harkness, Faith Christian; Malik Hart, Montbello; Kadyn Hicks, Highland; Zach Pirog, ThunderRidge; COLBEY ROSS, EAGLECREST; ELIJAH ROSS, EAGLECREST
Coach: Andrew Hasz, Faith Christian
AUSTIN CONWAY, OVERLAND; DE’RON DAVIS, OVERLAND; Jake Holtzmann, Chaparral; Justinian Jessup, Longmont; Chris Moody, Chaparral; Thomas Neff, Arvada West; Donovan Oldham, Rampart; Ryan Quaid, Fossil Ridge; Mike Ranson, Pueblo Central; Tanner Smith, Jim Elliot Christian
Coach: Brad Ranson, Pueblo Central