NorCal Sports Streaming Company Is Giving Asian-American Prep Hoopers Their Own All-Star Event •
By Mike Wood
NorCal Sports TV is debuting the NorCal Asian-American All-Star Game this Thursday, June 22, at Cal State University East Bay Gymnasium in Hayward, featuring high school basketball players from throughout the region.
The event starts at 6 p.m. with a Rising Stars game, and features a Seniors vs. Undergrads all-star game at 7:30 p.m.
The Seniors team includes recent grads, including guards Connor Noah and Ryan Parilla from the James Logan-Union City team that played in the CIF Division I state championship game in March.
On the Undergrads team are forward Bryant Jefferson from Palo Alto, Division I NorCal finalist in March, and guard Walter Lum of Lick-Wilmerding-San Francisco, which reached the CIF Division IV NorCal semifinals.
NorCal Sports TV reached out on social media for nominations of players, and the response led to them adding a second game of rising stars, said Dion Aye, CEO of NorCal Sports TV.
“We were looking at doing something for the seniors to honor them, as well as the undergrads,” Aye said. “We have the Rising Stars game to recognize those who are great players as well.”
Aye is the son of Denny Aye, college basketball coaching legend who retired in 2016 from a storied basketball career that comprised over 800 wins and stops at Chabot-Hayward, Columbia-Sonora, Fresno City and Cal State San Bernardino. The younger Aye worked with his dad as a volunteer assistant.
The game grew out of the inaugural NorCal Sports TV All-Star Games at Las Positas College in Livermore in April, an event which featured eight teams and over 100 participants.
Justin Cardona, who works with Aye in coordinating NorCal Sports TV events, said the notion for an Asian-American-specific all-star game came together shortly after the April event. Thursday’s event is to recognize student-athletes for accomplishments that extend well beyond the basketball court.
“We’re not trying to wrap it around being an all-star, but to make it about being an all-around person,” said Cardona, organizer of Community Sports Basketball for Filipino-American players for 10 years. “We want to recognize the family support and being a great student. It’s about many achievements. It’s a milestone.”
Cardona said they received a lot of nominations but had to hold the rosters total to 49. In working on interviewing players in publicizing the event, he noticed what it meant for several of the participants.
“Many of those guys said they had never been selected for anything,” Cardona said. “I got kind of emotional in doing the YouTube videos (for the game) and talking to the players. You could see in their eyes how they were affected (by being selected).”
Aye and Cardona said they would like to expand the Asian-American All-Star event in the future to include girls players.
For more information on the NorCal Asian-American All-Star Game, including presale tickets, go to www.norcalsportstv.com/naaag