Shayla Nelson

Senior forward Shayla Nelson averages 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Goose Creek girls.

Three Berkeley County School District senior basketball players have earned spots on state teams for the 22nd annual Carolinas Classic all-star games next month. The contests pit South Carolina’s top seniors against a squad of talented seniors from North Carolina.

Berkeley forward Ishan White and Trevur Smalls made the South Carolina boys squad while Goose Creek forward Shayla Nelson will suit up against the Tar Heels in the girls game.

All three players have helped power their squads to sparkling seasons on the hardwood this winter. The Stags won the Region 7-AAAAA crown and entered the playoffs as the No. 2 Class 5A team in the state.

White averaged 15.6 points and 9.8 rebounds in the regular season to earn Region 7-AAAAA player of the year honors while Smalls averaged 15.6 points and 6.1 boards.

Nelson averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Goose Creek girls to reel in Region 7-AAAAA player of the year honors. The Lady Gators won the Region 7-AAAAA championship and entered the playoffs as the No. 1 Class 5A team.

Two former Gators have been MVPs for South Carolina in the game, Aleighsa Welch in 2011and N’Dea Bryant in 2012. Goose Creek’s Mariah Linney was the last BCSD girls selection in 2017. Goose Creek’s Chris Ross was the last BCSD boys selection in 2016.

The games are slated for March 23 at John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington.

North Carolina leads in girls, 12-9, but South Carolina has won two of the last three. The Tar Heels lead South Carolina 14-7 in boys and have won four of the last five. North Carolina won 123-108 in 2018.

“We are honored to have the best high school basketball student-athletes from our states come to Wilmington to not only compete at a high level in their respective games, but to be involved in outreach activities that touch youth and adults in the community,” executive directors of the South Carolina and North Carolina coaches’ associations Shell Dula and Phil Weaver said in a press release.

When the players are not practicing or playing, they participate in community service, including visiting the children’s hospital and rehab center at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and four New Hanover County elementary schools. In addition, they will provide vocal and emotional support to children and adults with disabilities playing baseball at the Miracle League field in Wilmington.

Tickets to the games will be available in March for purchase online and are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. Proceeds from the event will benefit Access of Wilmington comprised of the Miracle League, Project SOAR, and Access FIT.

Coaches for the South Carolina boys are Keenan’s Zach Norris and Clover’s Bailey Jackson. More South Carolina players are Marlow Gilmore (HKT), Trae Hannibal (Hartsville), Charles Jackson (Blythewood), Juwan Perdue (Lakewood), Asanti Price (Keenan), Trey Smith (Landrum), Tommy Bruner (Gray Collegiate) and Malcolm Wilson (Ridge View).

Coaches for the South Carolina girls are Dreher’s Teresa Jones and Orangeburg-Wilkinson’s Cedrick Simpson. More South Carolina players are Taylor Britt (Spring Valley), Mya Burns (North Augusta), Taylor Lewis (Spring Valley), Maliyah Lockett (Westwood), Danae McNeal (Swansea), Quadijah Moore (Emerald), Brandi Rivers (Orangeburg-Wilkinson), Asia Smith (Myrtle Beach) and Olivia Thompson (Lexington).