The Union of High Schools’ Finest

Raymond Spalding, Jalen Perry and Dwayne Sutton. Photo by Randy Whetstone Jr. | Contributing PHotographer

Raymond Spalding, Jalen Perry and Dwayne Sutton. Photo by Randy Whetstone Jr. | Contributing PHotographer

The cherished rivalry between Kentucky and Indiana high school hoops saw its latest chapter last weekend. The contentious Boys All Star Classic dates back to 1939 with Indiana leading the series over Kentucky 91-42. The 2015 Kentucky-Indiana All Star Classic was held June 13 at Transylvania University and June 14 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

This year, Kentucky featured three all stars from Louisville. Jalen Perry, a 6-foot-1 guard from Ballard High School; Dwayne Sutton, a 6-foot-5 guard from DuPont Manual High School; and Raymond Spalding, a 6-foot-10 forward/center from Trinity High School all participated on the boys team.

Spalding, who averaged 13 points per game in his senior year, is headed to the University of Louisville next season to play under Coach Rick Pitino. When asked how it felt to play for the Kentucky team, he said it was a “huge accomplishment” and “a blessing to be able to represent my state.”

Although he received many Division I offers to play basketball, Spalding had a strong pull to stay in Louisville. “Really, my grandmother being able to come and watch me play basketball is a huge reason why I stayed here at home,” Spalding explains. In his senior season, Spalding led Trinity to the regional semi-finals with a 24-6 record.

Jalen Perry was elated to participate in the All Star Classic. “It’s an honor,” he says. “It’s a really big game between Kentucky and Indiana. I was just really excited to participate in it. There were a lot of good players here, and hopefully we will see some of these players down the road professionally.”

Perry will attend Middle Tennessee State next season. As a senior, he averaged 21.5 points per game and led Ballard to its seventh regional championship and to the second round of the Boys Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament. He looks forward to taking his leadership roles to MTSU next year.

“Hopefully I will impact the program right away,” Perry says. “I look to come right in and be aggressive and to be a leader.”

Sutton averaged 24.4 points per game in his senior season at Manual and is headed to UNC-Asheville this fall. “It’s a nice experience,” he remarks of representing Kentucky. “We all came together for one common goal, and that was to win this game. We wanted to have fun and to try to do our best.”

All three players have battled it out throughout their high school days. Perry, who has played since childhood, notes, “We have been playing with each other since fourth or fifth grade. So I always look forward to playing with Raymond or Dwayne. Those guys bring a lot of energy, and Raymond brings a lot of publicity, of course.”

Perry, Sutton and Spalding all shared the seventh regional player of the year recognition and were named as finalists in the Kentucky Mr. Basketball Award. Sutton and Spalding, who are cousins, were named to the ALL-USA Kentucky Boys Basketball First Team by USA Today High School Sports. Players were selected based on their athletic achievements from the 2014-15 season. Perry was named to the Second Team.

In the Kentucky-Indiana All Star Classic, Indiana extended its winning streak to fifteen after defeating the boys 83-80 in Lexington and 88-77 in Indianapolis. The Kentucky girls came up short in their efforts versus Indiana as well. Indiana girls defeated Kentucky 93-49 in Lexington and 88-58 in Indianapolis. Assumption’s Nora Kiesler was the only Louisville player on the Kentucky team. VT