Megan Walker, Evina Westbrook headline 2017 McDonald's All American Games rosters
Megan Walker and Evina Westbrook are the Nos. 1 and 2 prospects in the nation. Walker has signed with Connecticut, and Westbrook has signed with Tennessee. The future NCAA women's basketball stars teamed up over the summer to win a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA Americas U18 championships.
On Sunday, the electric and versatile stars were selected for opposing teams for the 2017 McDonald's All American Games, scheduled for March 29 in Chicago. They were among 24 high school seniors from 13 states named to the rosters.
Walker, a 6-foot-1 senior wing at Monacan (Richmond, Virginia) headlines the East team. Westbrook, a 6-foot senior guard at South Salem (Oregon), headlines the West team.
"It means a lot," Walker said of the selection. "It's really exciting and I'm just blessed to be able to have this opportunity."
The chance to see the elite prospects go head-to-head is reason enough to circle the date of the McDonald's Game on your calendar.
Here are six other things to know from Sunday's announcement.
1. Lady Vols lead the way
Four McDonald's All Americans have signed with Tennessee, the most of any school. In addition to Westbrook, Rennia Davis, Anastasia Hayes and Kasiyahna Kushkituah were selected to play in the Chicago showcase. It will be three future Lady Vols against one, though. Davis, Hayes and Kushkituah were named to the East roster, while Westbrook was named to the West. Holly Warlick's incoming class, incidentally, was ranked No. 1 in the nation through the end of the early signing period. Connecticut, which boasts the No. 2 class in the country, is sending two to Chicago in Walker and Mikayla Coombs. Also sending two are Texas (Rellah Boothe and Chasity Patterson), Baylor (Alexis Morris and Deauzya Richards), Stanford (Maya Dodson and Kiana Williams), USC (Ayanna Clark and Destiny Littleton) and Louisville (Dana Evans and Loretta Kakala).
2. Totally Texas
The Lone Star State is sending a crowd of its high school stars to Chicago -- to the tune of six McDonald's All Americans, the most of any state. Point guard Chasity Patterson, who has signed with Texas, is the lone Texas star on the East squad. Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M), Alexis Morris (Baylor), Deauzya Richards (Baylor), Jade Williams (Duke) and Kiana Williams (Stanford) were named to the West squad.
3. High school teammates
While Texas is sending the most high school stars to the McDonald's All American Games, one high school in Georgia is sending two. St. Francis (Alpharetta) stars Maya Dodson and Kasiyahna Kushkituah were named to the East squad. Dodson has signed with Stanford, and Kushkituah is one of the four headed to Tennessee. The duo is hoping to lead St. Francis to a third consecutive state championship this season.
4. Close to home
Point guard Dana Evans, the No. 7 prospect in the senior class and a Louisville commit, will have the shortest distance to travel for the big game. Evans, of West Side (Gary, Indiana), has starred on courts near and far. In addition to her McDonald's selection, she represented Team USA at the FIBA Americas U18 championships in Chile. In Chicago, which is hosting the game for the seventh consecutive year, Evans will share point guard duties with Patterson. Expect that speedy duo to be tough for the West squad to contain.
5. Scorers galore
A year ago in Chicago, MVP Sabrina Ionescu set the McDonald's scoring record with 25 points in a thrilling 97-88 overtime win by the West. There are a few prolific scorers slated for the 2017 game who could threaten that mark. Texas signee Rellah Boothe of the East has been known to score, score and score some more on courts across the globe. USC signee Destiny Littleton of the West on Saturday became the most prolific scorer in California high school history, passing the likes of Diana Taurasi, Cheryl Miller and Charde Houston.
6. The Big One
The Big Ten has just one representative on the McDonald's rosters: Michigan State-bound Sidney Cooks. Cooks could make up in quality what the conference lacks in quantity. The No. 5 prospect in the country, Cooks can stretch defenses with her agility. She's also a shot-blocking presence. Oddly, the 6-foot-4 forward at St. Joseph Catholic Academy (Kenosha, Wisconsin) was placed on the West roster.