Blue-Gold Boys Notebook: Worthy hopes to cap career with big game

DOVER — When he looks at the video, it’s almost like he’s watching someone else play.

Ja’vier Worthy was only a freshman when he first made varsity for the Smyrna High boys’ basketball team.

The 14-year-old youngster he sees on tape from that season is just a kid.

“My shot has changed a lot,” said Worthy. “My maturity. … just everything. It’s just weird watching it.

“I ended up starting one of the games. I was scared. I was afraid to mess up.”

But Worthy has come a long way since then.

Now a senior, he was a first-team all-Henlopen Conference Northern Division selection as the Eagles went 18-4 and reached the DIAA state quarterfinals.

On Saturday, Worthy will cap off his career by playing in the Blue-Gold All-Star Game at the Carpenter Center.

The girls’ game starts at 1:30 p.m. with the boys’ contest set to tip off at 4 p.m. There will also be a contest featuring Future and the Streetball Allstars in between.

The entire event benefits Best Buddies Delaware.

Starting with a 6-14 record his freshman season, Worthy and the Eagles improved their victory total in each of the next three seasons.

This winter, the 6-foot-2 Worthy averaged a team-high 17.3 points, 5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He also shot 72 percent from the foul line.

Worthy plans to keep playing in college. Right now he’s considering Wesley College, Wilmington University and Camden County (N.J.) College.

At the same time, seeing the end of his high school career is a big transition for Worthy. Smyrna lost to Mount Pleasant, 53-45, in the state quarterfinals at the Carpenter Center.

“It’s emotional just knowing that it’s your senior year, it’s your last high school basketball game,” he said. “We had plans on going farther than that but we had a tough, tough time in that game.

“I’m glad that I get to represent my team,” Worthy said about the Blue-Gold game.

Allen wins Gatorade award

Dover’s Jordan Allen, who will suit up for the Gold on Saturday, has been named the state Player of the Year by Gatorade.

He’s only the second Senator to win the award, joining Corey Crawford, who won it in 2010.

The Rider University-bound Allen averaged 20 points and 5.2 rebounds as a senior for Henlopen Conference champion Dover. He also reached the 1,000-point plateau for his career earlier this winter.

Allen has also volunteered for Special Olympics and as a mentor for children with special needs.

“Over the years, Jordan Allen has just continued to improve his game,” said Caesar Rodney coach Freeman Williams. “He is a tremendous scorer and competitor and he is arguably the best shooter in our state.”

The Delaware Sportswriters & Broadcasters Association All-State team, along with the Player of the Year award, is being determined today.

Nice finish

For Lake Forest’s Dominique Griffith, the Blue-Gold game will cap off what has already been a memorable season.

The Spartans finished 10-10, matching the most wins for the program since 2011. More than that, Lake Forest had won only 12 games in the previous three seasons combined.

“It was great actually,” said Griffith. “We had a good season — better than my last two. We lost too many games the last two years.”

A first-team all-Henlopen Southern Division selection, Griffith wasn’t even thinking about getting chosen for the Blue-Gold game. But he listened to the Gold roster being announced with first-year Lake Forest coach Mike Starkey.

“He was just like, ‘Do you want to sit down and listen to it with me just to see if you make it?’” Griffith recalled. “We heard it. … I was happy. I was proud of myself.”

A three-year varsity player for the Spartans, Griffith would like to keep playing in college.

“I’ve been playing all my life,” he said. “Why stop?”

Douglas finds a home

When Michael Douglas moved from Grand Rapids, Mich. to Dover two years ago, basketball is what helped him fit in.

While he was living with family members in Dover, he also left some family behind. It wasn’t easy.

“Basketball helped me gain a lot of friends,” said Douglas. “They accepted me right away, as soon as I came in.”

A point guard, Douglas is one of three Senators playing in Saturday’s contest. Dover went 31-12 in his two seasons here.

But coach Stephen Wilson will tell you that Douglas’ biggest accomplishments were in the classroom. Voted a team captain this year, he’s a member of the program’s Academic Hall of Fame.

“His grades are unbelievable,” said Wilson, who is one of the Gold’s coaches. “That’s the brains we needed at point guard. It helped us out tremendously.

“The first day Mike got here, he came to summer workouts. From that day on he was part of the team.”

Douglas said he felt honored to be chosen for the Blue-Gold game despite being new to Delaware.

“I was happy about it — being able to get the respect from other people after being here for only two years,” he said. “Especially after losing in the playoffs, winning this would be huge.”

Free throws

Smyrna’s Charlie Taylor was selected to play in the Blue-Gold game. But he wasn’t able to practice with the Gold squad on Tuesday because of health issues and his status for Saturday was up in the air. … Laurel’s Shawn Phillips, who is one of the Gold’s coaches, stepped down as the Bulldogs’ head coach this week. He led Laurel to three state tournament appearances in the last four seasons.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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