GARY | Marvin Rea and DeJuan Marrero were sitting in the athletic office last week chatting about Indiana high school basketball. It was not the first time the pride of Bowman Academy had done such a thing.
This week starts the 71st year of the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series. There will be four games for the best girls and boys players in the state.
On Monday, both genders of the Indiana All-Stars will play against the Junior All-Stars in downstate Seymour.
On Wednesday, the same format will be played at Pendleton Heights. Then, after the exhibitions, the big games tipoff.
On Friday at Louisville's Freedom Hall, Indiana and Kentucky will play for the all the marbles. The next night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the two border rivals will battle again.
“It's going to be a very busy week,” said Rea, Bowman's head coach and athletic director, who was selected to be a Junior All-Star assistant coach. “I think it's going to be a lot of fun.”
Rea said that he and Marrero, a member of the Indiana All-Star team, spoke about how to slow down Park Tudor guard Yogi Ferrell, who torched the Eagles in the Class 2A state championship game in March.
They then talked about trying to stop Indiana Mr. Basketball Gary Harris of Hamilton Southeastern. Bowman was 0-2 against both players last winter. Then it hit Rea between the eyes.
“And we've got to find a way to stop DeJuan Marrero,” Rea said with a chuckle. “I won a lot of games because of Rico. Now, I have to try to stop him in the Junior games. Oh, man.”
Marrero, who will report to DePaul the day after Father's Day, is the 23rd Indiana All-Star from a school that resides in the city of Gary. It is no wonder why he said the following when he learned he made this coveted All-Star team.
“I want to make my city, my school and my family proud,” Marrero said when the team was picked. “I want to play for the city of Gary. I want to represent.”
The Indiana-Kentucky All-Star game is the longest-running continuous series in America. The first team was picked in 1939.
Marrero is joined on the boys All-Star team by Lake Central's Glenn Robinson III. Merrillville's Raveen Murray is the lone region girl on this year's Indiana All-Star team.
Andrean's Nick Davidson and Munster's Michael Schlotman will play in Wednesday's game at Pendleton Heights and Rea will be their coach. Portage's Nicki Monahan will play for the Junior All-Stars at Pendleton Heights on Wednesday, too.
“It's going to be a busy, fun week,” Rea said on Friday. “I've got a couple of days to find a way to stop DeJuan. I hope I can come up with something.”