Mays ready to get serious with Kentucky All-Stars
Published 5:34 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023
Love Mays means business this weekend.
Mays will return to all-star basketball when she plays in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series Friday and Saturday, and she’s taking these games more seriously than her other all-star experiences.
The Danville senior has already played in one regional all-star game and on one statewide all-star team this spring, but she said the Kentucky-Indiana games carry more significance because there is more history and there are more eyes on them.
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“I’m preparing a lot. I’m in the gym every day trying to prepare for this game because it is so important,” Mays said. “I’m more nervous than I was before and I am taking it more serious than before.”
Mays followed her appearances in the 12th Region and Kentucky-Ohio all-star games by earning a spot on the Kentucky All-Star team during tryouts in April.
She and her all-star teammates will play the Indiana All-Stars on Friday at Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro and Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
And she’ll be playing alongside several familiar faces, which she said will make for a stronger all-star team. Mays is one of six players who were on the rosters for both the Kentucky-Ohio and Kentucky-Indiana games.
“We feel like we have a little bit of an edge because we’ve played with each other, and we have more time to practice so we’ll be able to play to each other’s strengths,” Mays said.
Mays, who was named her team’s most valuable player in the Kentucky-Ohio game, said she was excited about the chance to reunite with many of her teammates from that game.
“I think it’s so great that we all get the opportunity to play with each other again so that we can do better than we did last time,” she said. “Me and my team want to really improve and get the ‘dub.’”
Danville coach Judie Mason, an assistant coach in both the Kentucky-Ohio and Kentucky-Indiana games, said Mays proved in the Kentucky-Ohio game that she belonged with the state’s best players.
“When I saw her play in (that) game, she was the best player on the floor,” Mason said.
Mays, who signed with UT Martin last month, scored a game-high 23 points in the Kentucky stars’ 117-94 victory over the Ohio squad April 8 in Crestview Hills.
“It gave her confidence knowing that she could play with those good players,” Mason said. “Love lacked confidence when she first came here — people would think that she had all the confidence in the world, but Love had no confidence whatsoever — and I am so proud of the person she is on and off the floor now.”
Mays said she’s glad Mason will be alongside her once again this weekend, just as she was at the Kentucky-Ohio game. Mason is part of the Kentucky All-Stars coaching staff for the third consecutive year.
“It’s something that I’m comfortable with,” she said. “It’s good to have something that you’re familiar with there. She knows my strengths … and she knows some of (the other players’) strengths also, so she can help coach them up a little bit more.”
Mays shined in a scrimmage Saturday, posting 23 points and seven assists — both game highs — along with six rebounds and three steals in almost 35 minutes — also a game high — as the Kentucky All-Stars defeated the Kentucky Junior All-Stars 97-87 in Louisville.
“We’re just learning each other,” she said. “That’s a good bonding experience, especially when you’re on the court playing together.”