After feeling snubbed last season when the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League's All-Star rosters were announced, Beltway Bombers guard Rogers Barnes was determined not to be overlooked again.
Barnes, who starred at River Hill and Morgan State, has followed through, averaging 18 points, four rebounds and four steals this season, and he has been rewarded by being named to the South team for Sunday's ACPBL Bank of Glen Burnie All-Star Game. What's more, it will be played at Archbishop Spalding in Severn in front of his home-state fans.
"Just being in the All-Star Game is a great accomplishment," he said. "It means a lot because I had a chip on my shoulder not being selected last year. … Hard work does pay off."
Former UMBC star Cavell Johnson, a teammate of Barnes' with the Bombers, also made the All-Star team. He's averaging 19 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and said he's excited to come back to the Baltimore area to play in the game.
"It feels great," said Johnson, who in 2007-08 was part of the only Retrievers team to make the NCAA Division I tournament. "I'm looking forward to have my family out to support me, the people who coached and watched me at UMBC. It feels good to come back home."
The game was awarded to the Baltimore area, commissioner Brian Graham said, because the league is impressed by the job the host Bay Area Shuckers have done during their first season.
"They are a fantastic organization from top to bottom," Graham said. "They run their organization and they mimic NBA teams as far as organization goes. … It just only made sense to have them hosting the game. They're a step above the rest."
The Shuckers (5-7) have two All-Stars: former Maryland guard Adrian Bowie, who averages 30.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 6.2assists, and guard Terry Hosley (Parkville/Maryland Bible), who averages 26.4points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
The ACPBL is a regional professional league in its second season, with 10 teams and a 14-game regular season. Graham said the league is considered to be on the third tier among pro circuits.
Barnes considers his strong play this season and his presence in the All-Star Game to be a potential springboard to higher-level leagues.
"I definitely have overseas, NBA dreams," Barnes said.
Said Graham, also a freelance scout for the NBA's D-League: "There will be scouts there. A lot of these games do draw scouts.
"There's so much talent in the Maryland area. It's insane."
Sunday's pregame activities, including the 3-point shootout and dunk contest, will start at approximately 1:40 p.m. The game will begin at 3:10 p.m.
Tickets, which cost $5 for children 12 and under, $10 for adults and $20 for front-row seats, may be purchased at BayAreaShuckers.com.
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