ESCANABA - A gym which has been home to some of the finest high school basketball players in Upper Peninsula history will host a group of the past season's best players.
The 27th annual U.P. All-Star Classic will be played at St. Ignace LaSalle High School June 23, bringing together most of the top seniors among the girls and boys. The girls game is at noon, the boys game at 2 p.m. and will be preceded by special skills contests.
Players like Nicole Elmblad, Krista Clement and sisters Randi and Mandi Johnson helped make the girls a dynasty in Class C. Eddie Lester, Greg LaTour, Steve MacDonald and Jim Clement are among the boys who have helped the Saints gain major recognition over the years.
Now all-stars from throughout the U.P. will play in their footprints, including four who earned all-state honors this season.
Jaime Madalinski of Bark River-Harris and Olivia Nash of Escanaba will be on the South girls team while Jordan LaPlant of Ewen-Trout Creek and Kenya Oas of Munising are on the North boys team.
Nash has a basketball scholarship to Division I Oakland University, while all-star teammate Jammie Botruff of Gladstone has a scholarship to D-2 Grand Valley State. Botruff is Gladstone's all-time top scorer with 1,465 points.
Madalinski, who will be a walk-on at Northern Michigan University, holds the BR-H girls scoring record of 1,623 points.
Two other girls also have basketball scholarships, with Lauren Goldthorpe of St. Ignace going to Lake Superior State and Taylor Dillinger of Hancock is going to Minnesota-Duluth.
Another girl with a scholarship is Heather Sanderson of Rapid River, who will play softball at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The game is sponsored by the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, which uses proceeds to help fund a scholarship program for U.P. athletes.
Each scholar-athlete receives $500 a year for college.
Madalinski will be joined by scholarship recipients Megan Kangas of Norway and Zach French of Westwood in the all-star game. Kangas will play for the South girls while French is with the North boys.
Andrew Kelto of Munising was the other scholarship recipient.
For eight basketball players, this will be the first of two straight all-star appearances as they report to Marquette Monday for a week of practice for the June 30 U.P. Football All-Star Game.
The dual all-stars include Oas, Jacob Kleiman of Bark River-Harris, Bryce Bilski of North Central, Kyle Tiglas of Manistique, Tyler Wilson of Rudyard, Tyler Thomann of Iron Mountain, Jeff Gregory of Kingsford and Caleb Pellizer of West Iron County.
A breakfast for the basketball players will be held at 8:30 Saturday morning at the high school. It is open to the public.
Jamie Angeli, a former coach at Norway and Kingsford high schools, will be the speaker at the breakfast. His twin sons, Riley and Steve will play for the North All-Stars after helping Sault Ste. Marie win the Class B district championship and U.P. Class A-B Team of the Year last season.
Angeli, a native of Iron River, is a former assistant coach at Bradley University and UCLA and is now associated women's head coach and assistant athletic director for marketing at The City College of New York.
The players will be treated to a Star Line boat tour of the Mackinac Straits that includes a pass beneath the Mackinac Bridge and a stop on Mackinac Island Friday night.
Taylor Dillinger and Joey Carroll, Houghton; Olivia Suomis, Ontonagon; Audrey Sholander and Tanner Bartczak, Forest Park; Whiteny Frazier, Brimley; Allyssa Lindberg, Marquette; Courtney Waara, Negaunee; Megan Manninen, Westwood; Shannon Koski and Jaclyn Waara, West Iron County; Gertie McGeshick, Watersmeet. Coach, Greg Trowbridge, Superior Central.
Jammie Botruff and Whitney Wells, Gladstone; Olivia Nash, Escanaba; Rikki Gingras, Iron Mountain; Megan Kangas, Norway; Morgan MacArthur and Krista Metcalfe, Engadine; Gaby Cappaert, Stephenson; Lauren Goldthorpe, St. Ignace; Jaime Madalinski, Bark River-Harris; Kelly Bintner and Heather Sanderson, Rapid River; Taylor Granquist, North Central. Coach, Karl Dollhopf, Gladstone.
Riley and Steve Angeli, Sault Ste. Marie; Andy Steber, Calumet; Kenya Oas, Munising; Jordan LaPlant, Ewen-Trout Creek; Zach French, Westwood; Tyler Wilson, Rudyard; Michael Kuenzer, Brimley; Jacob Ludtke, Bessemer; Garrett Warren, Chassell. Coach, Dan Waterman, Munising.
Jeff Gregory, Kingsford; Josh Beauchamp and Ty Thomann, Iron Mountain; Caleb Pellizer, West Iron County; Kyle Tiglas, Manistique; Jacob Kleiman, Bark River-Harris; Lucas Moreau, Carney-Nadeau; Bryce Bilski, North Central; Bryon Harper and Cory Johnson, North Dickinson. Coach, Dan Olkkonen, Kingsford.