The 20th Annual Inner City All-Star Classic is set for Sunday, June 16 on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. The game features some of the top senior girls’ and boys’ basketball players of color in the metro area.
The idea started as a one-game protest.
Minneapolis Washburn, with AARON BOONE, BYRON SUTTLES, AKEEM CARPENTER, ERIC MINEA and ANDRAE PATTERSON, had just captured the 1994 Class AA title.
St. Agnes, led by seniors MARLON MCCOY, CHAR DAVIS, JAHMAI PHIPPS, LESTER JACKSON, CRAIG VAUGHN, and juniors JUAN TAYLOR and KHAMANI LLOYD, led St. Agnes to the Class A crown.
This happened at a time when it was rare to have two teams with African American starting lineups capture state championships.
When none of the senior starters from each team participated in the annual Metro vs. Outstate boys’ basketball game, former Minneapolis North basketball standouts DEREK REUBEN and RALPH CROWDER took immediate action, deciding to have a game for the best African American players from Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The starters from both teams were selected to play as well as players from public and private schools located in Minneapolis and St. Paul. LOUIS BOONE (Washburn) and DICK GHIZONI (St. Agnes) coached in the first game.
The game was a success, and it has been a yearly event ever since.
Notable players in the boys’ game include KHALID EL-AMIN (North, 1997), KRIS HUMPHRIES (Hopkins, 2003), ALAN ANDERSON (DeLaSalle, 2001), and ROYCE WHITE (Hopkins, 2009).
Girls’ basketball legend TAMARA MOORE (North, 1998) participated in the game when it was only available to boys (the girls’ game was added in 2001). Other notables include TAYLOR HILL (Minneapolis South, 2009) and ANGEL ROBINSON (St. Paul Central, 2007).
Doors open at 2:15 pm. Girls’ game is at 3 pm, boys’ game at 5 pm.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to [email protected]