Jane Addams Middle School 8th grader Trey Mack has been selected to participate in the seventh annual Eighth Grade Junior Prospects Boys All-Star Basketball Game in Decatur April 13.
Mack is the first middle school basketball player in Valley View School District 365U history to play for three state championship trophy-winning teams. The Addams 7th grade squad finished 2nd in state when he was in 6th grade, his 8th grade squad finished 2nd in state last year, and this year’s 8th grade squad finished 3rd in state.
A straight “A” student and a member of the Jane Addams National Junior Honor Society, the 5-11, 150 pound basketball star has been a VVSD student since he began kindergarten at Jamie McGee Elementary School. He readily admits math is his favorite subject because “when you don’t get something, it’s a challenge and I like challenges. Math makes me think. It’s cool once you get everything.”
He did give football a try when he was younger but decided to focus on basketball because he says playing outdoors in cold weather isn’t for him. When he’s not studying or playing AAU basketball (he’ll play for Illinois Wolves this year), he does volunteer work at McGee, helping students with their homework after school.
Playing professional basketball is one of his goals but that likely won’t come until after he has that college degree in hand because “not going to college is not an option. I want a full education…four years.” Although Mack hasn’t given a whole lot of thought to a career, he says architecture might be a possibility because he likes to draw.
As for advice for a current 5th grader in VVSD who wants to play basketball for the outstanding program guided by coaches Josh Gage and Jared Ploger, he says “Work hard, especially in practice. Be the guy you want to be.” Oh yes, and, he adds it’s critical to show some respect for your coaches.
The 8th Grade Class 3A and 4A All-Star game will be played at 7 p.m. April 13 at Eisenhower High School in Decatur. The event will include halftime 3-point shooting, slam-dunk, free throw, turn-around jumper, full court down-and-back, and skills & drills contests.
Editor's note: This is a press release from Valley View School District 365U.