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Nancy Rehm Border Wars
What: Indiana vs. Ohio All-Star basketball
When: April 27
Times: 2 p.m. girls, 4:15 p.m. boys
Where: Saint Francis

For coaches, Border Wars a blessing


– North Side’s Shabaz Khaliq and South Side’s Juanita Goodwell came to the news conference Monday at Saint Francis sporting their school colors and logos.

Even though the two coaches will be on the same side this month in the Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic, it just goes to show they know the accomplishments at their respective high schools give them a chance to lead the Indiana teams in the 22nd annual all-star basketball games, to be played April 27.

“It means a lot because it has a rich history and some of the better kids in the area have been a part of it,” Khaliq said. “You wait until your senior year to play in it and represent your school and your city at the same time, along with the state of Indiana.”

Both are among the best and most accomplished coaches in Fort Wayne.

Khaliq has led the Redskins to back-to-back regular-season SAC titles and the conference tournament title this past season.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Khaliq said of coaching the Indiana team. “It is a result of the hard work I as an individual and my coaching staff has put in to be able to be able to coach in a prestigious event like this. For me, it’s not so much recognition but because the event is so big, that’s what makes it a blessing. Rather than look at it as I have accomplished something to coach in this, it is a blessing because of the event.”

Goodwell got the Archers to the 2013 Class 4A state championship game. She also guided South Side to three the last three SAC tournament titles and conference regular-season championships in 2012 and 2013.

“It is definitely a tradition that we look forward to in Fort Wayne,” Goodwell said. “For myself to be named a head coach, it really puts me in a humble position but also an excited position that the recognition of all of our hard work over the last few years at South Side is going to have the opportunity to be put on display.”

Both coaches served as assistant coaches last year for the Border Wars.

The all-star games serve many purposes: It’s a chance for players to receive looks from college coaches if they need them; it honors the memory of the late Nancy Rehm, a Bishop Luers and Indiana Tech standout who was killed in 1982; it sometimes simply boils down to state pride with the battle between the Hoosier and Buckeye states.

“Being an assistant coach last year definitely gave me a chance to see what the talent is and what the mindset of the Ohio team,” Goodwell said.

“Sure it does change with personnel and the coaching staff, but it shows from the experience last year of how competitive it is. Both sides are driven to win and compete, and that’s what I take from last year to help me this year. It is not one of those traditional all-star events where you just come out and compete and have fun … they will have fun, but it is really about winning in this one.”

Tryouts will be April 15 and 17 at Saint Francis, with practice sessions April 22 and 24 after the 12-player teams are selected. More than 45 boys and almost 40 girls have been extended invitations to try out.

“I am very excited because of the talent we have,” Khaliq said. “The process of evaluating these kids and coach with them instead of against them is a blessing. Some of the guys who have given us fits over the years I get to turn them loose on someone else for once.”

Greg Jones is the high school sports editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in the Fort Wayne area since 1998. He can be reached by email; phone, 461-8224; or fax 461-8648.