An unexpected reunion for Millbrook players, coach
Posted July 25, 2014
When the boys basketball rosters for the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games came out earlier this year, the only Millbrook connection was the assistant coach of the East team, Scott McInnes.
No Millbrook players had been selected to the all-star game. That changed a couple days before the game was played though.
On Saturday morning around 11:30, guard Carlee Clemons got a phone call from McInnes. A player had dropped out of the game and they wanted Clemons to be his replacement.
"I was at my house just chilling and I got the phone call from Coach Mac saying that I was invited. I went crazy. I ran all around the house and everything. It was like a dream come true," Clemons said.
McInnes had a feeling he might see Clemons in Greensboro at some point.
"I told him before we left, 'Make sure you have a bag packed because if someone doesn't show up, you're our first alternate,'" said McInnes..
The call came early, and Clemons was prepared enough that he was able to make it to practice on Saturday afternoon.
"I was in the room and I looked at my mom, and then when he told me I put the phone down and I ran around the house," said Clemons. "My mom was like, 'Boy, what is wrong with you?' Then I had to tell her and she was celebrating with me."
"You know that's about an hour and a half trip, so he was ready to go," McInnes said.
Roster moves weren't done though. A second player didn't show up to practice, and that meant another roster spot was open. McInnes had a post player to call – Jake Wilson.
"It came Saturday afternoon. I packed my bags as quick as I could and came out there," Wilson said. "It was pretty weird because [McInnes] and I carried on a conversation for a minute, then he was like, 'Well, a guy down here decided not to come so we have an open spot for you.' I was like, 'What?' I was honored."
The sequence of events meant McInnes would get to coach two of his players on last time as high school athletes, and equally important, Clemons and Wilson would get to play for McInnes again.
"It was great because I didn't think I would play for him again. This was our last high school game together and I wouldn't have changed it for the world," Clemons said. "Coach coached us just like he does at Millbrook, so it brought back a lot of memories."
Both Clemons and Wilson contributed to the team too.
In 18 minutes of play, Clemons posted eight points, four rebounds and an assist for the East team. Wilson scored eight points, brought in seven rebounds, and blocked two shots in 16 minutes of play.
"I had a little chip on my shoulder. I wasn't the first picked, but I knew I was just as good as the people out there, and if that wasn't the case they wouldn't have picked me," Clemons said. "Not every kid gets this opportunity and you've got to make the most of it when you get to these places and thank God for putting you in this position."
For Wilson, it was all about representing Millbrook again.
"It feels great to know that I played for Millbrook and my teammates. I tried my hardest and just came out and played. I tried to contribute as much as I could," he said.
Clemons and Wilson, both members of Millbrook's Class of 2014, were members of a team that was a favorite of many to win the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A state championship. After dominating the first four rounds of the playoffs, Millbrook was upset by Apex, a team that the Wildcats had beaten handily earlier in the year.
Apex went on to win the state title, and it left a bad taste in the mouths of Millbrook seniors.
While Clemons says the all-star selection couldn't possibly make up for a state championship with his teammates, he did say it was a good way to end his Millbrook career.
"It was a great way to end it after [the loss to Apex]," he said.
Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT