In recent years, it has become tougher to get the state's elite athletes to come to the All-State Games. Many youngsters opt to leave early for the start of college or protect themselves from injury.
But for Edmond Santa Fe's Courtney Walker, the state's top girls basketball player and a Texas A&M freshman, it was important to be a part of the event.
Walker scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Large West to a 65-60 win Wednesday night in the All-State girls basketball game at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center.
“Coach (Gary) Blair told us we could go back and that he wanted us to be a part of games like this,” Walker said. “I had asked awhile back if I could come and play in this. You watch the game for three years hoping you'll get a chance to play in it. I didn't want to miss out on it.”
Bishop McGuinness forward Elyse Hight scored 10 points for the Large West in her first basketball action. The Notre Dame soccer signee was called to be a replacement on Tuesday and hadn't touched a basketball since May.
Tulsa Washington's Devaughn Gray led the Large East with 12 points, and Miranda Taylor had 10. Vinita's Caitlin Spurgeon, who was named the Jim Thorpe Girls Basketball Player of the Year, scored six.