GREENSBORO — On Saturday morning, Sayaun Dent had no specific plans for his Monday evening. By that afternoon, he was on the roster of the East squad for the annual N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The East coach (Chris Cherry of South Central High in Winterville) called me and said they had an opening,” said West Bladen coach Travis Pait. “Sayaun had played really well against them last summer in a summer league game and I think it really impressed him.”
Dent, who starred for the Knights during his high-school career and recently committed to play his college basketball at Lander University, didn’t start for the East team on Monday, but came off the bench to hit all three of his shots — including a three-pointer — to help lead the East team to a 117-108 win.
The East team, which trailed at halftime by a 60-53 margin, was led by Whiteville’s Tyrell Kirk, who came off the bench to hit a pair of three-pointers and finished the game with 18 points. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke commit was named the game’s MVP.
“This is a big deal for (Sayaun),” Pait said.
Dent started his last three years at West Bladen, a span that saw the Knights go 60-23. His senior season, Dent averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game. He was also a two-time All-Four County Conference first-team player and two-time MVP of the rugged Woodman Life Christmas Tournament at West Bladen.
“We have probably one of the best, if not the best holiday tournament in the state,” Pait said at the time. “It’s has a very strong field, so to be a two-time MVP is really special.”
Jeremiah Pope of Clinton also competed in the East-West All-Star Game on Monday and scored nine points.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.