Being invited to participate in a high school all-star game is one of the many exciting perks of being a high-level prep athlete. It is a testament to an athlete’s ability and their dedication to the sport they love. Having one athlete from a school participate in one of these games is a rare accomplishment. Having multiple is nearly unheard of.
That is the case though for the girls basketball team this year, as seniors Bri Porter and Chayla Cheadle have both been invited to play in the Elite Showcase Basketball Classic in Washington D.C. in March.
The game is described as “a premier national postseason high school basketball event in our nation’s capital that features outliers: premier male and female high school basketball players from the US and abroad whose athletic talent hails from sources that are not on the radar of sports team scouts,” according to the event’s website.
Porter and Cheadle, who have signed to play collegiately at Missouri and Kansas, respectively, are the first players from RBHS to be invited to participate in this event.
Porter has had an injury riddled career and said she is thankful for the opportunity to play.
“I think being invited to this game is more meaningful in light of all of my setbacks,” Porter said. “It sort of serves as a small reminder that all of the effort was worth it, and that none of my setbacks were permanent.”
Despite her struggles to stay on the court because of recurring knee injuries, Porter speaks fondly of her time as a Bruin.
“I’m going to take away lots of things from my time here,” Porter said. “I’ve gotten to know some interesting people, learned how to serve different roles on a team and really gained a whole new appreciation for basketball that I didn’t have before.”
Cheadle has faced fewer challenges than Porter during her career. She and her twin sister, Kayla, have contributed to the Bruins potent backcourt over the last couple years before committing to the University of Kansas in the fall. Cheadle said receiving the invitation to the game was an honor.
“I’m definitely blessed to get such an amazing opportunity like that,” Cheadle said. “I’m just very happy that Bri got the invite as well.”
Cheadle also noted while playing in the game with her teammate would be a memorable experience, it would not take priority over the MSHSAA Final Four, which is scheduled for the same time.
“Being invited to this game with Bri is a special feeling,” Cheadle said. “You don’t really hear about more than one girl off of one team going to this type of event, so just knowing that we will get the chance to make that happen is really cool. We are not sure if we will be able to play in the game though because if we do make it to the Final Four, which we hope we will, we won’t be able to play in the ESBC Game.”
The organizer scheduled the game for March 23, while the MSHSAA Class 5 State Tournament is scheduled from March 12-22. If the Bruins hope to three peat, the ESBC game will have to go by the wayside.
This is only the most recent of many honors the Bruin girls basketball team has received. Both the Cheadle twins, Porter and senior Audrey Holt were all nominated, though none were selected, to participate in the McDonalds All-American Game.
The team is currently ranked No. 11 in the country by MaxPreps.com. Although they likely won’t retain their position following a loss to No. 2 Incarnate Word last weekend, the rest of the season still looks extremely bright for the Lady Bruins as they attempt to win their third straight state championship.
By Josh Ripley
The Lady Bruins continue their season when they play at the Jefferson City Lady Jays tonight, Feb. 14.
Read about two football players who recently earned honors of their own here.