For most of the last four years, Hopewell's DeMon Brooks and Jordan Downing have been two of the best players on the basketball court in every game.
This week, Brooks and Downing play in their final high school event, when they suit up for the 2010 East-West All-Star game at Greensboro Coliseum.
For Brooks and Downing this is just the beginning of a huge month as they head to Davidson in August to start their collegiate basketball careers as teammates, once again.
But first, each of these local stars hopes to prove one more time why he's one of the best of the best in North Carolina as they lead the West Squad against a talented East team led by UNC signee Reggie Bullock.
"It's always an honor to play in any all-star game that you are invited to," said Downing, who played in the Charlotte Pro-Am in March. "There is going to be a lot of talent out there. My goal is to go out and compete on a high level, but also have a lot of fun."
Downing and teammate Brooks had a lot of fun the last two-plus seasons at Hopewell, where they duo led their team to a 52-4 record including two straight conference championships. Both Hopewell stars earned all-conference, all-region and all-state honors, with Downing averaging 17 points and five rebounds per contest and Brooks, who was I-Meck player of the year, averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds per game.
This summer, both have spent time adding even more polish to their games, working out several days a week with their future Davidson teammates.
Brooks and Downing also spent time playing with future college stars like United Faith's Ian Miller (Florida State) on their AAU team, the Charlotte Royals.
"Both Jordan and DeMon have already proven to be great players and great winners," said Davidson men's basketball coach Bob McKillop. "They both bring something unique to Davidson, as far as talent, that we need on our basketball team. I think both (guys) will find a role on our team very quickly."
More All-Star Talent
Downing and Brooks aren't the only local players that will play in the all-star game.
East Lincoln's Kendall Bethea will join the Hopewell duo on the West squad. Bethea led the Mustangs to an 18-8 mark this season averaging 18 points per game along the way. Bethea, who has discussed walking on for the UNC Greensboro with head coach Mike Dement, will likely redshirt this season.
North Meck's Lauren Lewis and East Lincoln's Lindsy Wright headline the West girls' team. Lewis will go on to Catawba College next month, where she will play basketball and softball. She was an all-conference and all-Mecklenburg guard averaging 16.7 points per game and was voted most valuable player of the Charlotte Pro-Am All-Star game. Wright, who will take her talents to Wake Forest, was the Southern Piedmont Conference player of the year. Wright averaged 21.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season, leading her squad to the SPC tournament championship and a 22-6 record.