Hoop stars get All-Star accolades


AJ Dixon was MVP for the Senior Boys team.

Robert Richardson, Staff Writer

Several of our basketball stars recently competed in the the 1st Annual Region All-Star Classic held at Purdue Northwest and featuring players from Northwest Indiana and Chicago.

“I’m pretty excited, all the hard work paid off, getting recognized for work,” Senior A.J. Dixon said, who took a highlight reel dunk to win the game, and was named the MVP for the Senior Boys All-Star team.

Dixon, who will attend a prep school in Florida next year, enjoyed the chance to play one last time in familiar surroundings.

“It felt good getting the chance to play in front of the people who supported you,” he said.

Senior Davina Smith, who will be playing for IU East next year, was selected for the girl’s Senior All-Star team.

“I was like ‘Wow, out of the whole region I was selected,’ but I wasn’t surprised because of all of the hard I work put in,” she said.

Senior Samya Miller was also ecstatic about her selection.

“I was excited and happy to hear. Also proud that I was recognized for the hard work I put in this year,” she said.

“Even though we did not have a Senior Night, we still had the opportunity to be recognized and acknowledged.”

Underclassmen Darrin Weaver, Kylie Wells and Kennedie Burks played on the Rising All-Stars teams.

The Merrillville seniors have made many memories during their four years here.

“My best memory had to be hitting a half court shot at Portage because of the excitement of me and my teammates after I hit that shot,” Smith said.

For Dixon, a highlight was his sophomore year.

“We won Sectionals,” he said. “It was a good year.”

The seniors have some advice for the underclassman following them.

“Make sure your grades are good,” Dixon said, “and work hard every day to perfect your craft.”

Miller advised students not to take their high school years for granted.

“It goes by fast and you never know what can happen,” she said. “Most importantly, have fun,”

Smith, who plans on becoming a veterinarian, knows the importance of working hard.

“Don’t give up what you’re trying to do,” she said. “Be serious in what you’re doing [but] have fun. Don’t stress yourself out.”