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DMV high school talents shine at 51st Annual Capital Classic

All-American high school basketball stars from the DMV played together and against one another at the 51st annual Capital Classic basketball game.

Players from the District All-Stars Huddle up at the end of the third quarter with the score tied at 65.  (Branson Brooks/The Hilltop)

The Capital Classic, a historic high school All-American basketball game that has been headlined by some of the nation’s top basketball talent, celebrated its 51st anniversary last Saturday at the Events DC Entertainment & Sports Arena.  

Notable names who have competed in the classic include Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Grant Hill, and many more.

A game filled with DMV high school standouts split up into a District and Suburban team preceded with the Capital Classic game.

Machi Chester at the free throw line for the Suburban All-Stars. (Branson Brooks/The Hilltop)

The preliminary game would go into double overtime, but in the final moments of the second overtime Tey Barbour, a Harvard University commit, hit a three-pointer to give the District team the victory with a final score of 72-69.

“At the end of regulation I got a shot that I felt should’ve gone in,” Barbour said. “I got another chance, and I hit it this time.”

Tey Barbour shoots the game-winning three.  (Branson Brooks/The Hilltop)

Barbour would go on to be named the MVP of the preliminary game.

Coach of the District All-Stars Dwayne Shackleford gave credit to his players post-game for successfully playing in the classic and pulling away with the win.

“I thought the guys played with a lot of energy, effort, and enthusiasm,” Shackleford said. “I just met some of them yesterday and we locked in right away. I just told them to have fun, man. This is really about them, it’s not about the coaches. They’ve been voted to play in this game and they just had to go out and try to win it,  and they did that.” 

The Capital All-Stars, featuring top-ranked players hailing from the DMV, would match up against the United States All-Stars in the second match-up of the day.

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The Capital All-Stars would be led by Overtime Elite guard and Georgia Tech commit Jaeden Mustaf, son of 1988 Capital Classic alumnus Jerrod Mustaf. 

They were also joined by Khani Rooths, who started his career at Georgetown Prep in Rockville, Maryland, before finishing at IMG Academy in Florida. Another Overtime Elite guard and Florida State commit Daquan Davis would round out the backcourt.

On the other side the United States All-Stars would feature NC State commit Paul McNeil Jr., son of NBA three-point pioneer Dennis Scott III whose father coaches the team, and Thomas Sorber a 2024 Georgetown University commit who got a taste of D.C. for the first time. 

Celebrities would also be in attendance for the historic game including Comedian and Actor Bill Bellamy, whose son, Baron Bellamy, was a part of the United States All-Stars. Bellamy spoke on how the Capital Classic brings the community together.

“What I love about coming to the DMV is that it is such a beautiful area of people. You got Virginia, Maryland, DC and the Capital Classic brings everybody together,” Bellamy said. “So you got the best of the best of the DMV. Then you had the United States All-Stars here. Then you got all these wonderful families that’s supporting their kids.”

It would be a pretty even matchup throughout the game with both teams having viable D1 talent at every position. Davis would serve as a scoring threat and a facilitator for the Capital All-Stars, while Missouri University commit Peyton Marshall was a force inside and out on offense.

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During the second half of the game, the Capital All-Stars increased their lead. However, the United States team was able to battle back, leading to the tied score of 102-102 with 35 seconds remaining on the clock. 

Off a missed shot from the Capital City All-Stars, McNeill Jr. gained possession of the ball and drove to the middle of the lane for a pull-up free throw line jumper, winning the game with a final score of 104-102.

Paul Mcneill Jr shoots the game-winning jumper for the United States All-Stars.  (Branson Brooks/The Hilltop)

Davis won the MVP for the Capital City Classic team, while Sorber walked away with the MVP for the winning team.

Daquan Davis and Thomas Sorber accepting their MVP Trophies. (Branson Brooks/The Hilltop)

Both players were able to give their perspectives post-game. Davis reflected on this being his last game in the DMV before heading off to Florida State.

“It feels great for me to get the MVP playing the game with a couple of my guys that I played with before. It was just a great feeling during the game,” Davis said.

Sorber said he felt welcomed to his new home in D.C. with an MVP trophy.

“I’m really excited to get to meet everybody in Georgetown, and get to know how people from D.C. really are,” Sorber said. “To get to meet the people, the coaching staff, everybody.” 

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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