Five of the All-Stars who have committed to play in the 2012 Faith 7 Bowl June 9 in Shawnee have already made even bigger commitments — to go on and share their skills with the Big 12 Conference.
Two will go to the University of Oklahoma, two will go to Texas Tech, and one has committed to play at Oklahoma State.
Phillip Forte, a 5-11, 180-pound Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus High School graduate, has signed with OSU’s Cowboys.
Forte is a two-time all-state player and two-time co-district player of the year. He was the district newcomer of the year as a freshman, and was district co-offensive player of the year as a sophomore.
The Texas All-Star averaged 17 points and four assists for head coach Danny Henderson as the Marauders achieved two state titles.
The Marauders were 39-2 during Forte’s senior season.
CJ Cole, of Sperry High School, is the only Oklahoma All-Star to sign with a Big 12 team. The 6-7, 220-pounder will play for the Sooners, and he will be joined by Texas All-Star and Arlington Grace Preparatory grad Je’Lon Hornbeak.
Cole, an Oklahoma Coaches Association and Tulsa World All-State pick, made The Oklahoman’s Super 5 Team as he helped head coach Lance Knight’s Pirates go 24-4. Sperry finished in the state quarterfinals.
Cole averaged 21.8 points and 16.9 rebounds per contest, and he hit 62 percent of his offerings from the field. He is the all-time leading rebounder in Sperry’s school history, and he was the state’s top rebounder as well during the 2011-12 campaign.
Hornbeak, at 6-4, 185 pounds, was a two-time first-team defender at the all-district and all-state level. He averaged 13 points, seven boards and five assists per game while leading head coach Ray Forsett’s Lions to state and district titles in 2010 and 2011.
The Lions were 34-4 during the 2011-12 run.
Going to Texas Tech are Texas All-Stars Wanaah Bail and Josh Gray. Bail, at 6-9, 210, is a Lamar Consolidated High School grad and was a district MVP and all-state selection while leading head coach Luke Lucky’s Mustangs to a 26-9 record last season. Bail averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Gray, a 6-1, 170-pound Wheatley High School graduate, averaged more than 23 points and five assists per game, as well as 3.3 rebounds. He was named MVP of coach Marcus Elder’s Wildcats.
Other Division I signees from the 47th annual Faith 7 Bowl are James Woodard (Edmond Memorial) and D’Andre Wright (Lawton Eisenhower), who will both go to Tulsa University. Velma-Alma’s Corbin Byford and Fossil Ridge (Texas) High School’s Brandon Conley will go to Oral Roberts University.
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John Holt Harmon, from Plano (Texas) West Senior High School, will go to Cornell University, while John Paul Stevens (Texas) grad Uche Ofoegbu is bound for Southern Methodist.
Eric Reed, from Mesquite (Texas) High School, will go to Long Island University, while Bishop McGuinness graduate Matt Christiansen will go to the University of San Francisco.
Division II signees include Jake Bullard, of Vinita High School, who will play at Pittsburg State, and Haworth High School’s Quinton Threadgill, who has committed to play at Southeastern Oklahoma State.
NAIA signees are Tulsa Union’s Sedrick Johnson, who is bound for Avila University, and Forgan High School’s Rhett Radcliff, who is going to Northwestern Oklahoma State.
Coaches for the 2012 Faith 7 Bowl are North Lake College’s Tim McGraw (Texas), and Kenny Bare of Velma-Alma (Oklahoma) and Gregg Hardin of Bristow (Oklahoma).
The 47th annual Faith 7 Bowl will tip off at 7:35 p.m. June 9 at Oklahoma Baptist University’s Noble Complex. The Shawnee Trophy Company Slum Dunk Contest will start at 7 p.m.