FORT WORTH, Texas – For such a dominating presence at 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds, Devonta Abron of Seagoville was surprisingly invisible in the first half of the Texas High School Coaches Association basketball All-Star game.
With just five points and five boards from Abron in the first half, former The Colony point guard Austin Chatman stole the spotlight by dropping dimes to his newly acquainted North All-Star teammates.
“I wasn’t hitting any shots so I had to find another way to win the game, so I did what I had to do,” Chatman said.
The no-defense format of the game fit right into Chatman’s style, setting up teammates on bounce-pass alley-oops and behind-the-back passes.
However, all the Globetrotter-like showmanship would end up for naught in his stat line after the majority of his teammates couldn't convert the bucket after he dialed up an outstanding connection.
Every rim-rejected dunk would draw a jokingly annoyed glare from Chatman, followed by a large grin from the soon-to-be Creighton freshman.
“I gave them a lot [of joking grief], but I mean you got to live with it,” Chatman said.
With great professionalism, Chatman attributed the misfires to the lack of experience he had with the other players, throwing the timing off.
Luckily for Chatman and the other North All-Stars, Abron came out of the tunnel in the second half like a man among boys, leading the North to a 103-94 victory.
Abron threw down dunk after dunk on his way to a 27-point, 10-rebound night. As each dunk was slammed, he came further out of his shell, peaking in the fourth when he threw down a monster dunk and then hit a long-range two, each celebrated with flexed muscles.
“I just wasn’t playing good so the second half my team told me to come on with it, so I listened to them and picked my game up and started balling,” Abron said. “When I got that first slam, I was ready to ball.”
Abron, an Arkansas recruit, put an exclamation point on his argument for the North MVP with a transition alley-oop dunk with half a minute left on the clock which he credited to friendly trash-talking from friends he had made on the South team.
“They’d been talking noise all these days, so I just told them I was going to bring it to them,” Abron said.
After he concluded his beastly performance, he quietly left the court with a giant grin on his face, saying he was just ready to take his MVP plaque back to share with his hometown of Seagoville.