Mike Junek was an all-star at the end of his high school playing days. He's 25 years into a successful coaching career now, and Junek is an all-star all over again.
The Lexington head coach leads a strong Brazos Valley contingent to San Antonio this weekend at the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches clinic, where Junek will coach one of the Class A-3A all-star teams Saturday.
"Before I started coaching, I played in the Texas High School Coaches all-star game," Junek said. "It's just a full circle, but it's not about me. It's about all of the kids I have had in the past."
Junek played in the 1980 THSCA game, teaming with MVP Michael Young, the Houston Yates senior headed for success in the University of Houston's Phil Slama Jama fraternity. The game was played at Hofheinz Pavilion.
Saturday, he will be on the bench at Trinity University, directing an all-star team in a one-time opportunity for Texas coaches.
"It is a pretty good honor, and I was surprised I got voted in," Junek said. "I always go to the TABC clinic each year anyway, so this is really nice."
Junek played on three state championship teams at Snook.
"Coach [Don] Horn was my coach when we won state in 1978 and 79 and Donnie Victorick was my coach when we won it in 1980," Junek said. "They are why I'm in coaching today. They treated us with respect, and they were the father figure when we needed someone to talk to. But they were hard on us, too."
Junek is in his second season coaching in Lexington after directing Snook. He carried the Blue Jays to a Class A Division I state runner-up finish in 2005.
While tourists will walk the stone pathways that line the Riverwalk this weekend, San Antonio's atmosphere will be very much about the hardwood sport. The TABC clinic has made San Antonio a home for Texas basketball. The larger Texas High School Coaches Association clinic has a all-star basketball game each midsummer, and basketball coaches attend. But the THSCA event's dominant sport is football.
The TABC clinic is all basketball.
Texas A&M women's coach Gary Blair and assistant Vic Schaefer will both be part of the program at Municipal Auditorium. It's a return to Blair's roots. He is a member of the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame, having won three girls state championships at South Oak Cliff.
Three Brazos Valley basketball standouts will take the floor in all-star games at Trinity on Saturday. None will be teammates, because the TABC plays a pair of all-star contests, pitting players from Class A, 2A and 3A against each other, then putting 4A, 5A and private school players in their own contest.
Bryan point guard Allyn Cooks is one of just three players in the entire competition who are no taller than 5-foot-10, but his position give Cooks a chance to shine in an all-star game. Cooks is a great guard with his penetrating dribble, but he can also shoot well fom outside. He will be teamed on the 4A-5A White team with Demetri Goodson, the Klein Collins standout guard. Collins is the team that ousted Bryan from the 5A playoffs.
Cooks, the 13-5A MVP, averaged 18.5 points and six assists per game as a senior.
A pair of Brazos Valley players who led their teams to regional finals will go head-to-head. Normangee forward Chandrick Evans plays for the A-3A Red team against Hearne's 6-6 post Forrest Rucker.
Evans was the MVP of District 26-A Division I, averaging 14.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Rucker, who has signed to play football at North Texas, had a take-charge attitude when the Hearne Eagles most needed it this basketball season. He averaged 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots per game.
All three Brazos Valley players were named all-state by the TABC.
It's a whirlwind tour for Junek and the players involved in all-star games. The coach leaves for San Antonio on Thursday.
"We have a Friday morning practice that will last a hour and a half, then a banquet for the all-stars Friday night on the Riverwalk," the Lexington coach said. "We will practice Saturday morning and then later Saturday we'll play."
There may be a parade of "look-at-me" moves on the basketball court in any all-star game, but the guy coaching prefers to downplay the accomplishment.
"I guess it is an honor because your peers vote you in," Junek said. "Everybody gets in three minutes at a time, so the scouts that are watching them get a chance to see them. There's not a lot of coaching involved."
The TABC coaching job is recognition of a productive career, but there's not much time to bask in the glory.
On Sunday, Junek will come home briefly before heading to Austin for the UIL Tennis Championships, which open Monday. He has a pair of doubles teams playing there.
May 2008 will have a busy opening week in a career of net gains.
? David Campbell's e-mail address is email@example.com.