Updated: April 19, 2021 03:05 PM
Created: April 17, 2021 09:32 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The 39th annual All-Star basketball series took place on Saturday at Forest Lake Area High School and Southeast Minnesota represented with a handful of players and some local coaches.
Among the 40 senior boys basketball players there was Stewartville's Nolan Stier, Byron's Jake Braaten, Caledonia's Sam Privet, St. Charles Kooper Vaughn and Hayfield's Ethan Slaathaug.
While this series showcases some of the top-talent in the state (no shortage of three-pointers and dunks), it's also the last time some coaches got to coach their own. Such was the case for this year's Class A state champions.
Hayfield's Head Coach Chris Pack said, "it's an honor for [Slaathaug] to be able to make it, especially as a Class A player, there were a lot of them here so just for him to be chosen is special. I had the opportunity to coach him. One last time, especially after the year we've had, it's a pretty special way to go out."
Also finding themselves in the same situation is St. Charles' Head Coach Terry Knothe and Kooper Vaughn. Knothe has know, and coached, Vaughn for years so getting one last game together, "was tremendous."
The gymnasium was safely filled with family and friends, which allowed a couple of things. One, the teams had an opportunity to play in front of a crowd - something that was far and few in between this year, but also it allowed some of the players to gain exposure.
"In this COVID year where we really didn't have any fans, didn't have a chance to have much of a crowd ever, we did have the online presence but it's not the same," Knothe said.
He also expressed his excitement for people in the metro area to finally see Vaughn's talent level. This year, Vaughn had multiple high scoring games including one with 63 (against Fillmore Central) and 59 (against Triton). Right now, Vaughn is the state leader in points per game (35.3) and three points made (74). He also ranks third in the state for total points at 530.
Copyright 2021 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company