April 9, 2014
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University senior men's basketball player Markel Starks (Accokeek, Md./Georgetown Prep) had a chance to go to the Final Four last weekend, selected as one of the participants by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) for the 2014 Reese's Division I College All-Star game.
Starks started for the East All-Stars, who posted an 85-75 win over the West All-Stars. He scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out four assists while getting a chance to play with players like Pittsburgh's Talib Zanna, who he roomed with and played AAU ball with growing up, and Towson's Jerrelle Benimon, who was a one-time teammate on the Hilltop.
"It was a great experience to get out on that floor and to play with those guys and in that environment," Starks said. "I didn't shoot the ball that well, but to get a chance and to get rewarded for your season and your career, it was a great honor for me and I really enjoyed getting the chance to play with some great players from around the country."
Starks was also able to play in front of his Georgetown coach, John Thompson III, who sat near the East All-Stars during the game, and members of the Hoyas staff.
"It was neat to have Coach there to see me play," Starks said. "We exchanged some looks in terms of what I saw out there and what he saw, but it was pretty special to be selected and play in front of your coach."
Some may have looked at the chance to play in the all-star game as a reward for a solid season and impressive career, a good way to wrap things up with a trip to the Final Four. Starks, however, looked at it as more than that.
"Just getting the chance to walk around the hotel and see how many people were there for the convention (the NABC Coaches Convention) and to see the names of schools, some of them, I hadn't even heard of, and to realize the network of people there was really impressive," Starks said. "Getting the chance to play in the game and hang out with the guys was fun, but I wanted to approach this as a job interview and make as good an impression I could with everyone I met."
A two-year captain and two-time All-BIG EAST selection, Starks was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team as a senior and earned third team honors as a junior.
Starks finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 17.3 points, and led the team with 4.1 assists per game. He ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring, was seventh in the league in assists and second in free throw percentage (87.0%). In addition, he ranked 12th in three-point field goals made (1.7), ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.8, 135 assists,76 turnovers) and third in minutes played (37.0). Overall this season, he played 91.8 percent of the team's minutes (1,222-of-1,330) played.
Starks passed the 1,000-point mark for his career in January, becoming the 44th player in program history to pass that mark. He finished his career with 1,246 points in 126 games (9.9 ppg) and ranks 26th all-time in scoring in Georgetown history. Starks also ranks tied for fifth all-time in three-point field goals made (165), fifth in three-point attempts (459), tied for 20th in three-point percentage (35.9%), seventh in free throw percentage (81.3%) and 19th all-time in assists (300).
Georgetown finished the 2013-14 season with an 18-15 record and advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), the 10th-straight postseason appearance for the Hoyas under Head Coach John Thompson III.