Three recent graduates of Brown County high schools will be on hand at the Brownwood Coliseum Saturday as the basketball portion of the Big Country FCA All-Star Festival takes place.
On the court, Brownwood Lady Lion Mallory Garcia is the lone Brown County athlete who will compete in either game, suiting up for the South girls squad.
“It's awesome to be able to selected to play in it,” Garcia during Thursday's media day event at Brownwood High School's Warren Gym. “I'm excited about these next couple of days, the people I meet and the relationships that are formed. It's definitely a special moment I'll always remember.”
Meanwhile, Brownwood's Jaimee Keesee and May's Kyndi Kilgo will cheer for both the girls and boys games, which take place at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.
“Cheering at the FCA game is something I hoped I would be chosen for and something I've looked forward to for a long time,” Keesee said. “This feels really good, like maybe I meant something to those who chose me and that I could do more for the FCA.”
Kilgo added, “Being a Christian, getting to be around other Christians this week and getting closer to God, it means a lot to me.”
For Garcia, she was named MVP of the TexasBank Holiday Classic during her senior season, in which two games were played at the Coliseum. Even more outings at the Coliseum are in Garcia's future as she will continue her basketball career at Howard Payne.
“This is kind of a bittersweet moment,” Garcia said. “I'm glad it's ending like this with the FCA, that's the best end game I could ask for. This is the final closing of the chapter. Having just graduated, this is my final mark.”
Garcia is also treating Saturday as the beginning of her college career.
“It's the start of a new journey,” Garcia said. “Everything in the past is very special but I'm excited. I can't wait to have that Lady Jacket uniform on and to keep playing.”
Reflecting on her high school cheer days, Keesee said, “My biggest accomplishment was getting cheer captain my senior year. That was the best part of high school. I want to thank my coach Mrs. (Estella) Soto, who helped me a lot through my freshman year and my senior year with cheer.”
Kilgo also spoke of the highlights of her high school cheer days, saying, “At the Tarleton NCAA camp I made the All-American team and I was nominated all four years of high school.”
As for cheering one final time, Kilgo said, “It's really sad because I've enjoyed cheer ever since third grade. It's been fun and I'm glad I get to cheer one last time with new people.”