Austin Stiles represented Ceres High School in the Second Annual Central Valley Senior Showcase all-star boys basketball game this past week in Turlock.
The 6-foot-tall guard-forward enjoyed the experience despite being slowed by a left groin injury sustained leading up to the contest.
Stiles tallied eight points as the American team lost 100-85 to the National team Thursday night at Pitman High School.
"I was going to play no matter what," Stiles said. "I just wish I was healthier so I could have played to my full potential. I couldn't move. Running hurt. I toughed through it. I still had fun."
The American team's roster featured Stiles, Hughson's Wyatt Michael, Pitman's Jando Diaz and Chris Hanham, Turlock's Halib Velasquez and Will Hilgen, Denair's Logan Vann, Delhi's Adrian Valladres, and Hilmar's Nick Olvera and Nino Ta-a.
Stiles and Hilgen were teammates for two seasons at Mae Hensley Jr. High. They competed against each other in the Ceres Youth Basketball League.
Austin and Will previously attended Modesto Christian and Ceres High, respectively.
"It was definitely cool playing basketball with Will again," Stiles said. "We were in the same group the whole game. We connected on the court. I gave him the ball a lot. It brought back memories from the past. I had a blast."
Stiles led Ceres High to its second straight Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearance and a third-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings (8-4).
Austin earned second-team all-conference honors.
He averaged 11.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
A first-team all-WAC receiver, Stiles plans to play football in college.
Stiles had a large contingency of supporters root for him during the Senior Showcase, including family members, friends, coaches and trainers.
Austin might have played organized basketball for the last time. "I'm not positive," he said. "We'll see."