The East-West All-Star Games were founded in 1949 by Coach Bob Jamieson of Grimsley High School and Smith Barrier, the Sports Editor of the Greensboro Daily News, to help finance the North Carolina Coaches Association Coaching Clinic. The Games feature players who have just graduated from high school – the best from the Eastern half of North Carolina against the best from the West. Coach Jamieson served as the Director of All-Star Games from 1949 until 1986. Upon his retirement, his protege, Phil Weaver, assumed the Director’s position.
Football and Men’s Basketball were the sports played that first year. The football game was the first game played in the 11,000 seat Jamieson Stadium at Greensboro Senior High School (now Grimsley High School) and we are still playing the All-Star Game at that site. The basketball game was played at Guilford College in Greensboro. In 1954, the basketball game moved to the new Greensboro Senior High School gymnasium and was the first game played in that new and innovative facility. Interestingly, the first basket was scored by Charlie Adams of Cary High School who would become the longtime Executive Director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. In 1960 the basketball games moved to the new Greensboro Coliseum, where the Games are still played in its main arena.
Women’s Basketball was added to the All-Star Games in the summer of 1975. Soccer for both men and women premiered in 1992 at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Soccer matches were moved to MacPherson Stadium at Bryan Park in 2015. Currently, the Games feature 36 football players and 6 coaches on each team, 16 players and 1 coach on each of the four soccer teams, and 10 players and 2 coaches for each in basketball team. That’s 176 players, 24 coaches, 8 athletic trainers and 17 officials honored each summer!
Traditionally, the games are held during the third week of July in conjunction with the NC Coaching Clinic. The games are played on consecutive nights beginning with the two basketball games on Monday. Soccer follows on Tuesday and football is on Wednesday. The 2020 games were cancelled due to COVID-19, but resumed in 2021. Beginning in 2023, the All-Star Football contest will move to December a week after the NCHSAA Playoffs conclude. The Game for the Class of 2023 will be played in July, and the Game for the Class of 2024 will be played the following December.
Also under the sponsorship of the NCCA is the North Carolina/South Carolina All-Star Basketball Games. This event features both men’s and women’s games and was begun in 1999 . Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC, hosted the games until they were moved to Wilmington, NC. The NC/SC Games resulted from the leadership of the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Executive Director, Keith Richardson. NC/SC Basketball is played after the two states have concluded their high school championships.