Three recruits from South Carolina, Stanford highlight girls' All American rosters
Three South Carolina recruits and three Stanford recruits are among the 24 players on the rosters for the McDonald's All American Games, while high school star Maori Davenport was left off the teams in Thursday's reveal.
No. 1 prospect Haley Jones will join future Stanford teammates Fran Belibi, who has gained national fame for her dunking ability, and Ashten Prechtel on the West team. Gamecocks-to-be Aliyah Boston, Breanna Beal and Zia Cooke were assigned to the East team.
South Carolina's class was ranked No. 1 in the espnW HoopGurlz 2019 recruiting class rankings after the early signing period, just ahead of No. 2 Stanford.
The lone UConn commit so far in the 2019 class, Aubrey Griffin, was placed on the East team.
Davenport, who is ranked 15th in the HoopGurlz Top 100, landed in the national spotlight this month as she fought to play her senior season at Alabama's Charles Henderson High.
After winning a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City, USA Basketball acknowledged it failed to check with the Alabama High School Athletic Association before it sent Davenport a stipend for $857.20. Davenport deposited the check in August and repaid USA Basketball in full in November as soon as she was informed by USA Basketball that she was in violation of Alabama's amateurism rules. AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese ruled that she was ineligible on Nov. 30. The ruling has twice been upheld on appeal.
Davenport has played in eight games for Charles Henderson (17-6).
According to the McDonald's selection process, a player must play in 50 percent of her high school's games as a senior in order to be eligible for the game. Players must also be eligible according to their state governing bodies.
McDonald's Corporation issued the following statement on Thursday:
"In the 42 years of the McDonald's All American Games, the Selection Committee has adhered to eligibility requirements when selecting nominees and final team players for the All American Games experience. The standing rules entail athletes must be considered eligible by their high school state governing body and play in half of their high school basketball games during their senior season. Because of Maori Davenport's deemed ineligibility, she was unable to meet these requirements and therefore was not a candidate for the All American Games."
Anaya Peoples, one of Davenport's teammates on the USA Basketball U18 team, was chosen for the McDonald's game. Like Davenport, Peoples was sent a check in error by USA Basketball, returned it and has been eligible throughout her senior season at Illinois' Schlarman Academy. Peoples has signed with Notre Dame.
Aijha Blackwell, the only other member of the USA U18 team who remains in high school, is awaiting the Missouri High School State Activities Association to approve her transfer request and was not chosen for the McDonald's All American Games. Blackwell has not yet repaid the money to USA Basketball.
A hearing on the Davenport's complaint against the AHSAA is scheduled for Feb. 1 in Troy, Alabama. The AHSAA filed a motion Wednesday asking that the hearing be moved to Montgomery County or be dismissed.
Alabama will have one representative in the McDonald's game. Florida State recruit River Baldwin, a 6-foot-5 post player at Pleasant Home High School, was assigned to the East team.
Davenport, who has signed with Rutgers, led Charles Henderson to a state title as a junior. Her team's final regular-season game is scheduled for Feb. 1.
Here are the complete rosters for the McDonald's game:
East head coach: Sue Phillips, Archbishop Mitty High School (California)
East assistant coach: Tami Monson, Archbishop Mitty High School
East assistant coach: Joe Guerra, Archbishop Mitty High School
West head coach: Lee Rogers, Arundel Senior High School (Maryland)
West assistant coach: Donna McGowan, Arundel Senior High School
West assistant coach: Ana Baker, Arundel Senior High School