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Jackson Simmons Named MVP of NC East-West All-Star Game

Who knows, maybe this kid is a hidden gem.

Inside Carolina has a full write-up of the game.

For a second straight year an incoming UNC freshman was named the MVP of the NCSHAA East-West All-Star Game. Brand new Tar Heel forward Jackson Simmons led the West to a 100-93 win over the East with 19 points and a rather gaudy 15 rebounds. Simmons follows in the footsteps of Reggie Bullock who was named MVP last year.

Simmons initially committed to UNC as a preferred walk-on but was later bumped up to a scholarship because UNC had one available for the 2011 season. Among Simmons' high schoo accomplishments is the NCHSAA career record for rebounds with 1554 over four seasons.

Side note: Simmons broke the record(by 134 boards!) held by one time UNC commit Jason Parker of West Charlotte. Parker was supposedly the second coming of whoever but UNC said he didn't qualify academically. It turns out that may have been incorrect but Parker ended up at Kentucky then South Carolina and his career basically fizzled out. Parker never lived up to hype and was plagued by injures as well as off the court issues.

Granted such records don't necessarily mean Simmons is going to be productive at the next level but look at it this way. There is nothing wrong with having a player on your roster who understands his role, works hard, pushes the starters in practice and apparently has a nose for the basketball when he is around the hoop. I am not saying Simmons is going to even be Alex Stepheson but he will be a great addition to the Carolina family and is a NC native to boot.

Congratulations to Jackson Simmons on winning the East-West MVP.