Many people said this group was the best to ever come out of the Seattle area. Never before had there been so many big-time college basketball...
Many people said this group was the best to ever come out of the Seattle area. Never before had there been so many big-time college basketball prospects in a single senior class.
And if that was just local opinion, it isn’t anymore.
Not after yesterday’s announcement that four area seniors — three boys and one girl — have been chosen to play in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American games March 30 at Notre Dame’s Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind.
Snohomish’s Jon Brockman, Juanita’s Micah Downs and Seattle Prep’s Martell Webster will play in the 28th annual boys game, which tips off at 5 p.m. Pacific and will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Monroe’s Kirsten Thompson will play in the fourth annual girls game, which starts at 2:30 p.m. Pacific. That game will be broadcast one day later, on March 31, on ESPN2 at 2 p.m.
With four players on the roster, Washington ranks second only to California (six) in numbers of players selected. New Jersey also had four players picked.
The Mac 10
McDonald’s All-American selections from the state:
1974 Kim Stewart, Ballard
1985 Quin Snyder, Mercer Island
1994 omm’A Givens, Aberdeen
2000 Luke Ridnour, Blaine
2003 Aaron Brooks, Franklin
2004 Marvin Williams, Bremerton
2005 Martell Webster, Seattle Prep; Micah Downs, Juanita; Jon Brockman, Snohomish; Kirsten Thompson, Monroe.
“These kids are all worthy, it just so happens that they’re from the same state,” said Jim Marsh, who coached Brockman, Downs and Webster last summer on Friends of Hoop, an AAU team out of Seattle.
Marsh said the talent in the Seattle area is the best he has seen in 25 years.
“Stacked up in one year, oh my gosh,” he said. “Understand the import of this: Three McDonald’s All-Americans from one city.”
Brockman and Webster, who have both signed with Washington, said they learned of their selection more than a week ago, but had to keep quiet.
“It’s exciting,” said Brockman, a 6-foot-8 forward. “To get to play in the same game I’ve been watching on TV since I was little, that’s pretty amazing.”
Webster, a 6-7 guard, said he was “overwhelmed.” After struggling with injuries last season, he responded with a senior year in which he averaged 27.7 points and nine rebounds.
“After my injuries, everybody thought I was going to fall off, and there were times I thought I was, too,” Webster said. “But I didn’t let it get the best of me.”
Downs, a 6-8 forward, hadn’t heard of his selection when reached by a reporter yesterday morning.
“Man,” he said after gathering his thoughts. “It’s kind of overwhelming. Growing up as a kid, you see all these guys that are in the NBA now, and you see they played in it, and you hope you can make it. Now that I have, it’s pretty neat.”
Brockman and Downs, who has signed with Kansas, both said the selection of three area boys confirms the level of competition in the Seattle area this year.
“It sums it up to have all three of us selected,” Brockman said. “And there are others who could have been picked. They’re all good players; it just happened to be the three of us.”
All three also have been chosen for the Jordan Classic on April 16 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Thompson, a 6-6 center, is the first Washington girl to be picked for the McDonald’s game. But she said she doesn’t feel any pressure.
“I don’t really feel the need to prove anything to anyone because I know where I’m at, and I know my family knows,” said Thompson, who has signed with Arizona State. “If it goes well, it goes well. If it doesn’t, you’ve just got to keep playing.”
Thompson said she’s “really excited,” to be part of the game. She added that she hoped to be able to dunk before the event, but remains about “1 or 2 inches” away.
“I’m that close,” she said. “But I don’t think I’m going to make it.”
Both boys and girls teams were chosen from a nationwide pool of more than 2,500 nominees.
Matt Peterson: 206-515-5536 or email@example.com.