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SHERIDAN — It’s been a busy week for the Sheridan College basketball coaches as the two prep their teams for a fun-filled all-star weekend.
SC men’s coach Steve Smiley and women’s coach Frank McCarthy are the head coaches for the Wyoming Boys and Girls All-Star basketball teams, respectively. After a season-long process of evaluating and selecting their rosters, the players finally arrived at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome for their first practice on Wednesday.
“We send out letters to all the high school coaches, and they send back nominations,” McCarthy said of the selection process. “Of course I’m also recruiting, so I hopefully know who the better players are.”
After narrowing their rosters down to 10 players, the coaches only have three days of practice before their first game against the Montana All-Stars.
“It’s a challenge to put them together into something cohesive and try to run a little bit of a system,” Smiley said. “The nice thing about it is these kids are so smart that they pick things up very quickly.”
Along with being led by the two Sheridan coaches, both the boys and girls teams feature some local talent. Maddy McClure from Sheridan High School will be starting for the girls team, and Reed Ritterbusch and Judson White, both from SHS, are on the boys roster.
“It’s a big deal whenever any of these local kids get nominated,” Smiley said. “They don’t just get selected because they’re local. They have to have the accolades to get selected. The community gets behind it and really excited about it.”
Last year, the girls team split the two-game series with Montana, while the boys lost both games, so each coach knows this year’s matchup won’t be easy.
“We know how strong Montana is,” McCarthy said. “The bigger the challenge, the more focused and more excited you get.”
The two teams will scrimmage Sheridan High School tonight and have one final practice on Friday before their first game against Montana. The girls game tips off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and the boys will play at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be played at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome at Sheridan College.