2012 McDonald’s All-American Girls Basketball Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Best of the Best

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March 28 2012

In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Girls basketball, it was the East on top,79-78, behind the fine play of Alexis Prince who knocked down a team high of 15, followed by Brittney Holmes who added 13. The game ended with a little controversy due to a late foul being called on Katie Collier of Seattle Christian as the buzzer sounded. The foul put Bashaara Graves on the charity stripe, where she knocked down the first shot and missed the second on purpose. This would have been the first ever overtime Girls’ All-American game.

“I thought it was a foul,” said Graves, a Tennessee-recruit, who had seven points and 10 rebounds. “But I was surprised that it was called. It was kind of iffy.”

One could assume since the game was televised, girls game is on ESPN2 and the boys game is on ESPN, overtime would possibly push back the boys broadcast, considered they are the bigger draw.

“I didn’t want it (the game) to end,” Graves said with a big smile. “But it was more important to get the win so…”

Teammate Prince shared the same view of the conclusion of the game. “I wanted to keep playing especially with the best of the best.” Prince is headed to top-ranked Baylor in the fall.

The West were led by Nirra Fields, who finished with 20. Ms. Fields became the first Canadian-born girls’ player to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game. After the game, she shared with us that “I’m just pleased to play here. This was my goal and I wanted this to be an all American.” Fields will be playing ball next year at UCLA.
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Local All-American Morgan Tuck (UConn), out of Bolingbrook, added 18 points, 3 boards in 23 minutes of play. “It was fun to play on the same court as Michael Jordan and now Derrick Rose,” she shared with us after the game. ”

The East jumped out to as much as 16 point lead in the first period (7:36) including an 11-0 run to start the game, but the West slowly picked away at the lead and got it down to six with less than a minute left to play in the first half, but Syracuse-bound Brittney Sykes, knocked down two of the last baskets to closed out the half (40-31).

The West squad never led and trailed 11-0 early on, they stayed with the East for the entire second half. In the second half, the West was able to tie the game on two separate occasions with the inside play of 6’2″ Tuck, once at 50 and another at 78 with 16 seconds left in regulation, but each time they made their run, Breanna Stewart (UConn) was able to stop them by knocking down shots including 7 of the 8 remaining points.

“This was one of the better played all-star games I’ve seen,” said East coach Anne Long of Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.). “There was a lot of unselfish play.”

Ms. Stewart was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), and Ms. Prince was named MVP of the game.

As for the other Chicago girls, Janee Thompson, Kentucky-recruit, had 7 points and 2 steals including one 3-pointer; Jewel Loyd finished with 4 points and 8 boards – next stop for her, Notre Dame.
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“We are blessed to play this game and be able to give back like this through the Ronald McDonald game,” Loyd shared after the game. “Right now I’m looking forward to playing with Notre Dame next year. I will be cheering for them in the Final Four game (this weekend in Denver).” In fact, a few of the girls are making a trip to see the game live including Loyd.

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With the 40 year anniversary of Title IX coming, coach Long shared her thoughts “we should be blessed with where we have come from an build on it. The pioneers put us in the right track and we are simply following their paths.”

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Ashley & Courtney Paris, and Maya Moore to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

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