Locals selected for all-star gamesPublished 12:01am Thursday, March 7, 2013
NATCHEZ — Once an all-star, always an all-star? In that case, Trinity Episcopal’s Tanner Cage has enough all-star in him to last two lifetimes.
The senior point guard was selected to play in Friday’s MAIS All-Star basketball game as a member of the South AA-AAA boys squad. Cage, who also appeared in the MAIS All-Star football game this past November, said he was excited to have the chance to play in back-to-back all-star games.
“It’s very special,” Cage said. “Not many players have the opportunity to do that, and I didn’t think I would, but it happened, and I’m happy.”
Cage, however, is not the only local to have the opportunity to compete at the all-star level. Adams County Christian School sent two athletes to their respected all-star games: Nikki Worthey for the girl’s basketball game, and Austin Walker for the boys soccer game. In addition, Wilkinson County High School’s Lineasia Palmer was tabbed for the Mississippi Sports Medicine North-South All-Star game.
Worthey said she found out by accident she was selected, as it was supposed to be a surprise by her parents. But her father left the packet on the counter, which Worthey spotted when she got home.
“I was more nervous than anything,” Worthey said. “It’s my first time doing anything like this, and I have no idea who I’m rooming with. But there’s also a lot of excitement.”
After fighting through injuries her senior year, Worthey said it was a big accomplishment to be selected as an all-star.
“I’m glad,” Worthey said. “I hope it makes me better when I’m older.”
Walker said since finding out he was an all-star during the season he’s been spending extra time working out with friend Kwabe Kumi. He said he was shocked after he initially found out.
“I missed a couple of games due to grades, but after (I found out), I was laid back and played my game,” he said.
Walker, a Cathedral High School transfer, said he was glad he joined the soccer team despite his initial hesitations.
“I had never played with them before,” Walker said. “They didn’t try much at practice, but when it came to games, it was the best team I ever played for.”
Palmer said she found out about her selection over the phone, but couldn’t believe it at first.
“I thought it was a mistake, then they told me my coach (Trimekia Gaines) had recommended for me to be on the team,” Palmer said.
Now, Palmer said she’s glad it wasn’t a mistake.
“It feels great,” she said. “I worked hard all season, and I feel like I deserve it. I feel I have to work hard for the future and become the person I want to be.”
As someone who always wants to challenge herself, Palmer said she’s looking forward to going up against the state’s best.
“I’m expecting to see good competition,” Palmer said. “That’s something I like, because you can’t get better unless you play people that are up to your ability.”