McLean, Reese and Russell selected McDonald’s girls basketball All-American
by Derek Toney
Only two local girls basketball players have been selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game since its inception in 2002.
That changed, in a huge way, Thursday.
St. Vincent Pallotti guard Eniya Russell, Angel Reese from St. Frances Academy and Roland Park Country School’s Mir McLean were selected for the 2020 national senior showcase, which will take place April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
McLean and Reese watched their names announced Thursday afternoon on ESPN’s daily NBA show, “The Jump.”
“When I saw my name, I was like ‘oh snap,'” said McLean. “I’m so lucky.”
“I couldn’t sleep last night. I knew anything could happen,” said Reese. “It was great to share the moment with my teammates.”
It’s the first time a local player has been selected to the McDonald’s game since former Annapolis Area Christian School star Taylor Murray in 2015. Murray went on to star at the University of Kentucky.
Mariah Strickland from now-defunct Towson Catholic was the first area McDonald’s All-American in 2007. Strickland went on to play at Maryland and South Carolina before finishing her collegiate career as a graduate student at Fordham.
Reese, a 6-foot-3 forward bound to Maryland is the nation’s No. 2 senior by ESPN. She’s the leading scorer for nationally-ranked and area’s consensus No. 1 St. Frances.
McLean, a 5-11 forward, is the No. 21 prospect in the nation. Roland Park Country’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder will play for Connecticut next season.
Russell, 6-foot, is rated among the Top 15 point guards in the nation (No. 44 overall). Russell will play for South Carolina next season.
It’s the first time three players from the same league (IAAM A Conference) have been selected McDonald’s All-Americans.
“This tops our 2020 class as one of the best and people around the Baltimore area are really proud of us,” said McLean. “All three of us grew up playing in the same circles. We’re all proud of each other.”
Two years ago, Baltimore had Jalen Smith (Mount St. Joseph; Maryland) and Immanuel Quickley (John Carroll School; Kentucky) represent the MIAA A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League in the McDonald’s boys contest.
The announcement of the 2020 McDonald’s All-Americans come following the passing of game founder and legendary DeMatha Catholic coach Morgan Wootten.
Wootten, who won 1,274 games (lost just 192) in 46 seasons at the Prince George’s County private school, died Tuesday. He’s a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.