Bobby Jackson All-Star Game tonight
By Ronnie Gallagher
Bobby Jackson, Salisbury’s favorite son, is home visiting this week and that means only one thing to most area basketball fans:
The Bobby Jackson All-Star Game.
Jackson, a New Orleans Hornet, has always paid back the community where he grew up by bringing in some famous faces. Tonight, he’ll do it again, facing a squad from Charlotte led by Jeff McInnis.
This year’s game should have special meaning for Jackson. He’ll play in a gym where a giant Bobby Jackson jersey hangs.
“I haven’t played in this gym since I was in high school,” said Jackson, who graduated in 1994. “It’s going to be nice.”
After years of playing at Livingstone College, the game is being moved to Salisbury High School.
The Salisbury and North Rowan boys basketball teams will play at 6 p.m. with the All-Star game scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
T-shirts and concessions will be sold.
Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Hall Gym or at Salisbury High.
Jackson’s team will have a heavy Rowan County flavor.
Along with Jackson, who played at Minnesota, fans can watch at least two former ACC stars.
West Rowan’s Scooter Sherrill was a McDonald’s All-American before going to N.C. State. He is now playing overseas.
South Rowan’s Carlos Dixon played at Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-7 guard has been a star in China for several seasons.
Another former South player, Damien Argrett, is scheduled to play. Argrett is the best story of all. The former Pfeiffer Falcon under coach Dave Davis now stands 6-foot-9 and is coming off a season in the Czech Republic where he was the MVP of his league.
Phillip Williams, who started for Winthrop for three seasons and played in three NCAA Tournaments, will suit up. Williams is best known in these parts for helping Mike Gurley’s West teams to 61 straight wins and two state titles.
Fans will see plenty of faces who have shown up on ESPN time and again. Names like Peppers, Paul and Howard will be on hand.
Peppers, the defensive leader of the Panthers who watched the game last season, is expected to be on hand. Jackson’s Hornet teammate Chris Paul will coach one of the teams. He won’t play because he’s still recuperating from injuries.
Paul, who played in Rowan County several times while a member of the West Forsyth Titans, is expected to bring Dallas Maverick Josh Howard.
Muggsy Bogues is also slated to be a part of the game.
McInnis has always brought big-time players with him. Last year, Bobcat Raymond Felton was in Salisbury. McInnis mentioned that Adam Morrison may be in the game.
But Andrew Mitchell, one of Jackson’s good friends and a coordinator of the event, said, “At one point, we were told Morrison was coming. If they’re in the summer league in Orlando I don’t think they’ll be able to make it.”
Jackson actually took a team to Charlotte to face McInnis on Monday. Jackson’s team lost 75-70.”(McInnis) had said for a couple of years that he wanted his people to see Bobby,” Mitchell said. “Bobby jumped at it right away. He knows Jeff has been loyal to him and he wanted to return the favor.”
Mitchell said just because Jackson’s all-stars agreed to go to Charlotte, it wouldn’t ever affect the game in Salisbury.
“There was never a chance of it leaving here,” Mitchell said. “This is something we look forward to every year.”
NOTE: Jackson said Tuesday Paul may miss the game to attend the ESPYs in New York.
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.