PILOT MOUNTAIN — UNC legend Phil Ford was at East Surry High School on Thursday to talk to a handful of the Surry County All-Stars ahead of the 36th-annual ACC Barnstorming Tour coming to East Surry on April 17.
The Surry County team, coached by East head basketball coach Jason Anderson, features 28 players who graduated from East Surry, Surry Central, Mount Airy, North Surry, North Stokes and West Stokes.
“We’ve got players from all the local high schools,” Anderson said. “Everybody has a good time. North Carolina is a basketball state. Any time you can get big-time college basketball players it’s exciting.”
Anderson said he hopes most of the Surry players have the chance to play two quarters.
The players from East Surry are Drew Alley, Eli Gilbert, Tyler Pardue, Ryan Simmons, Ryan Johnson, Andrew Hunter, Kyle Shinault, Matt Covington, Peyton Searcy, Patrick Marion, Blake Gilley, Caleb Gilley and Mathew Burke.
Also on the team are Ty Tilley, Caleb Cosby and Cody Simpson from Surry Central; Austin Taylor, Justin Holleman and Robbie Rives from Mount Airy; Tanner Easter from North Surry; Jarryd Moxley, Luke Hunter and Taylor Rhodes from West Stokes; and Andrew Steele, Brent Hughes, Mitchell Livengood and Seth Johnson from North Stokes.
Playing against the Surry County team are the ACC All-Stars, which will feature Wake Forest’s Coron Williams and Travis McKie, N.C. State’s Jordan Vandenberg, Duke’s Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston and Andre Dawkins and North Carolina’s Leslie McDonald.
Former Mount Airy standout Wade Moody is also on the ACC roster. Moody, a 6-foot senior guard played three years of varsity basketball for the Bears and was a two-time all-conference selection. Moody led the Bears to two conference championships. On March 3, Moody sank a 3-pointer to open Senior Night for the Tar Heels in a win over Notre Dame.
Rounding out the ACC roster are Duke’s Todd Zafirovski and UNC’s James Manor and Denzel Robinson.
Ford, who will coach the ACC team, talked to some of the Surry players about what to expect in the game. Ford encouraged competitiveness, but added that he doesn’t want to see anyone get hurt.
The event will include a 3-point and slam dunk contest. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House with additional proceeds going to East Surry. Over the years, the event has provided a close-up look at standout players such as Michael Jordan, Len Bias, Dereck Whittenburg, Tyler Hansbrough, Nolan Smith and Tyler Zeller.
Doors open at East Surry High on April 17 at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at East Surry High School and Aunt Bea’s in Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy, online at www.carolinabarnstorming.com or by calling 704-246-3816.
This year’s tour kicks off April 9 at Bassett High (Va.), then has stops at Pender, West Caldwell, Weldon, East Surry, Person, Triton and Epiphany School.