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Less pressure, same intensity for City all-star game

Posted by Zolan Kanno-Youngs  March 21, 2013 10:15 PM

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The Blue squad looks to win back-to-back titles at in Saturday's Boston City League All-Star game. (Photo courtesy of Colin Campbell)

With 20 city teams making it to the state tournament this year, players from the city league have been used to playing competitive games under high amounts of pressure.

While the same level of pressure may not be there, the 2013 Dr. Joseph Warren Boston City League All-Star game should be just as competitive.

“You don’t make it to an all star game like this unless you’re competitive, unless you’re super competitive and that alone right there is motivation," said Blue team coach Jeremy Silva at the all-star pregame recognition dinner at Suffolk Construction's Roxbury headquarters Thursday night. "I’m not going to need to do anything but stay out of the kid’s way."

While it may be coach Silva’s first time around an all-star game, it is Brighton coach Hugh Coleman’s third straight appearance as the coach of the Red team. The coach, whose team is coming off their first state championship in school history, agreed that the game would be competitive.

“Last year, we fell short," Coleman said. "It was a Miami Heat vs. Celtics game so that actually burned us a little bit. In the back of our minds, we want to win, we’d like to get an award at the end of it all but I just want to make sure the young men have a good time.”

One of those young men will be Coleman’s star point guard, Malik James, who said the prize for winning the game -- getting recognized at the Celtics vs. Wizards game on Sunday April 7 -- will definitely add more intensity.

“The season was hard work so now you can just go out there and enjoy yourself and enjoy everybody playing against you and stuff like that, so it’s definitely going to be a fun game,” James said. “I’m still representing the school so I’m going to go out there and have fun but take it seriously at the same time.”

The boys' all-star game will be 4 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at Northeastern’s Cabot Center. The girls' all-star game will be at 2 p.m.

Many of the players selected as all stars are also seniors, and some said the game would be great preparation to playing in a college atmosphere.

“It’s an experience for me because I’m getting ready to play college ball after I do my postgraduate year so it’s new experience for me and I really appreciate the opportunity,” senior Gabriel Vieira said.

Every member of the All-Star team was treated to dinner as they were recognized for their great efforts, thanks to the BSA organizers behind it all.

BSA Athletic Director Chris Rooks congratulated the players during the dinner for being both good athletes and students.

“In takes equal dedication in both to be successful so we’re happy that each of you are here for this reason,” Rooks said. “We’re recognizing you all for your efforts, your teammates effort, your leadership, your effort on and off the court, your dedication to your game and your school and in the classroom.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.