Winston, Ursin are All-State

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014


LAPLACE — One has helped his school’s boys basketball program rise to Class 5A contender status over his past four seasons. The other led the Destrehan girls team to its best season ever as a first-year player.

The voters for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team noticed, naming East St. John senior Edwin Winston to the 5A boys second team and Destrehan freshman Cara Ursin to the girls first team for the 2013-14 season. 

ESJ’s Tre’Von Jasmine and Hahnville’s Juwan Green each earned boys honorable mention. Destrehan’s Jordan Dabney earned honorable mention on the girls side.

Winston followed up an All-District junior year by upping the ante, taking those honors and then earning an All-State nod. The 6-foot-5-inch forward averaged 19.2 points per game to lead ESJ in scoring, adding 7.5 rebounds and one block per game. Winston also shot 82 percent from the line, helping to lead ESJ to a 24-6 record.

“This year, I thought E.J. (Winston) stepped up his on-court leadership,” said East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine. “All-State, to me, is a testament to how dedicated and hard-working he was this year.”

Winston typically played power forward but could also shift to center. His ability to outrun opposing bigs down the floor and finish made the Wildcats a particularly deadly transition team. 

Jasmine called Winston one of the most versatile players in the state. 

“That comes down to his God-given athletic ability, more than anything,” said Jasmine. “It’s rare that you have a five (center) that can run. He was a tough matchup all over the court. If a smaller guy or a guy his size was on him, he’ll take it inside. But if a big 6-foot-9 guy is on him, he’ll step outside and shoot the jumper.”

Ursin was the backbone of a Destrehan team that finished 31-2 and as the Class 5A state runner-up. The 5-foot-7-inch guard/forward averaged 19 points per game to go with 12 rebounds, five steals, four blocks and six assists a contest. She was named the 7-5A overall district MVP and defensive MVP. 

Her most notable game may have been her debut at the Top 28 tourney, a 32 point, 19 rebound effort against Helen Cox in a 5A semifinal. The 32 points were a career high.

“She was an instrumental piece in all of our success,” said Destrehan coach Angi Butler. “She’s brought a lot skill wise, but just as much in passion for the game. You rarely see it in a 15-year-old athlete.”

Butler said that most cannot match Ursin’s combination of speed, size and strength, noting that she runs the 100 meter dash in 11 seconds and has a vertical leap that allows her to touch the rim.

“She’s so quick, but also strong and muscular,” said Butler. “When you add in her vertical, it’s almost impossible to block her shot.”

Ursin joins a rare group of freshman to ever earn Class 5A All-State honors. She is the only freshman to make this year’s team; the first and second teams are rounded out by seven seniors and a junior.

“You don’t see it often,” said Butler. “She has things to improve on, as we all do. But it’s going to be a lot of fun to see her grow over the next three years.”