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Basketball: South Forsyth's Evan Cole named MVP of GACA North/South all-star game
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South Forsyth senior Evan Cole had 31 points, nine rebounds and six blocks to be named MVP of the GACA North/South Senior All-Star Game. - photo by Scott Givens

Evan Cole thought he’d take it easy in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North/South Senior All-Star Game, make a few plays, but mostly enjoy the experience of playing with some of the state’s best players.

Then the South Forsyth forward started to hit 3-pointers. He made his first from deep behind the top of the key. Then he made another. And another.

Cole made seven 3-pointers in all, finishing with 31 points along with nine rebounds and six blocks to be named MVP of the game, which Cole’s North team won, 117-111, this past Saturday.

“It was a lot of fun just playing with some good friends,” Cole said. “It was a pretty serious all-star game.”

Indeed, Cole’s North team pulled ahead early, but the South team soon closed the gap and the two went back and forth the rest of the way.

The talent was serious too.

Cole played alongside Division I signees in Milton’s Alex O’Connell (Duke), Berkmar’s Al Durham (Indiana), Whitefield Acadmy’s Isaiah Hart (Loyola-Md.) and Cedar Shoal’s Phlan Fleming (Charleston Southern).

The South team featured North Clayton’s Ashan Asadullah (Lipscomb), Westlake’s Chuma Okeke (Auburn), Henry County’s Damion Rosser (New Orleans) and Javon Greene (George Mason), Liberty County’s Davion Mitchell (Auburn), LaGrange’s LaPerion Perry (Purdue) and Tift County’s PJ Horne (Virginia Tech).

Cole said he most enjoyed his time off the court with the state’s top talent. They spent the night together before the game, and went bowling.

No Division I bowlers, it turns out.

“They were all pretty bad,” Cole said.

The game put a fitting punctuation on Cole’s high school career. This past November, he signed to play for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Then the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks a game this past season and helped South reach the state playoffs for the second straight season to be named the Forsyth County News’ boys player of the year.