It required a commute, but Mary and Bryson Davis finally got to see their two grandchildren play at the same location in high school games.
Their daughter Kylia Carter is the mother of Pace Academy 6-10 senior Wendell Carter, who has committed to Duke, and their daughter Kolette Mosley is the mother of Jonesboro (Ga.) 6-6 junior Jamari Mosley, who is being recruited by several college programs.
The two played together in middle school at Fulton Leadership Academy, an all-boys charter school outside Atlanta, but one family moved and they’re now about a 45-minute drive away from each other.
Carter and Mosley have never played against each other in a game, but both are in the Beach Ball, and had each team won their opening-round games Monday they would have met in the second round on Wednesday night.
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Carter held up his end of the bargain with Pace’s victory over McQuaid Jesuit, but Jonesboro lost by 13 points to Westchester (Calif.) so the meeting didn’t happen.
Nonetheless, the families only have to go to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to watch each play.
“It’s a special holiday for us because it’s the first time we’ve all been together,” Kolette Mosley said.
Both teams also played in the City of Palms tournament last week in Florida, so the families had two trips this holiday season.
“We’re dedicated to this because all the games are at the same place,” said Mary Davis, who usually alternates between the games of her two grandchildren. “They’re usually playing at different places and we have to make a choice. That was my husband and my Christmas presents to each other, we got to go see them play at the same time.”
N.C. State men’s hoops coach pays brief visit
Between posing for photos, signing autographs and shaking hands, there was still business for N.C. State men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried to handle.
The Wolfpack head man was one of a few coaches to take his seat courtside at the Beach Ball Classic on Tuesday, taking in the first-round matchup between Westlake (Ga.) and Bishop O’Connell (Va.).
“(The Beach Ball Classic) is absolutely phenomenal,” he said. “The people organizing it really put on a great event showcasing high school basketball.”
Over the years, a litany of coaches have made their way to the tournament, getting a look at athletes they hope could eventually help their program. Last year, North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams paid a visit to Myrtle Beach to watch a night’s worth of action.
Gottfried did not stick around that long, hitting the road shortly after Bishop O’Connell’s 61-36 rout of Westlake. However, before heading back to Raleigh, N.C., he stood outside the locker rooms to speak with players and coaches from each team.
“Keep shooting those 3s,” Gottfried said to Westlake’s Christopher Berry, who finished with nine points in the game – each coming from beyond the arc.
Dunking them headfirst into Beach Ball history
Upon walking in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, his face is among the first all will see this week.
And Ian Guerin hopes a good portion of those will stick around a while … maybe buying a book or two in the process.
Formerly the prep sports coordinator for The Sun News, Guerin by no means is putting his pen down.
His book, “The Beach Ball Classic: Premier High School Hoops on the Grand Strand,” was released Dec. 12. But this week was his true litmus test, wanting to see how well received the book is in the eyes of those passionate about the subject.
So far, so good.
“You don’t write a book like this for the heck of it. You want folks to buy it, and you want people to enjoy it. In order to do that, you definitely want to make the best of your promotional opportunities,” Guerin said. “So it has been great being back in town and getting to speak to people about it.
“In many ways, this is the real release week, even though it has been available for some time. Being able to walk into the convention center and see the reaction has been worth the long hours and travel in the past few days.”
The book chronicles Beach Ball’s humble beginnings into becoming one of the nation’s premier prep hoops events. It also features a bevy of interviews with those instrumental in making the tournament possible each holiday season.
“The best part has been meeting folks face-to-face and listening to their reactions to specific chapters,” Guerin said. “Whether it was parts about the local teams struggling throughout the years or the sections about guys like Vince Carter or Jason Kidd, there is something in there that any fan of the tournament can relate to.”
More importantly, out-of-towners – particularly those making their first trip to Myrtle Beach and the Beach Ball Classic – can get a picture of what the tournament is all about.
“What I’m trying to do is make people here, especially out-of-towners, know the type of tourney their kids are playing in,” Guerin said.
In addition to being available for the rest of the week at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the book can be purchased online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major booksellers.