Drew, Derozan, Dixon lead So. Cal contingency along with former Dominguez star Jennings in March 26 showcase
Six of the brightest California high school ballplayers will be traveling to Milwaukee in March to play in the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Game.
Actually, that number can increase to seven if you count Compton native Brandon Jennings from Oak Hill Academy (VA).
Jennings, Jrue Holiday (Campbell Hall), Demar Derozan (Compton), Larry Drew (Taft) and Malcolm Lee (J.W. North) will represent the West squad in the boys’ game while Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach Poly) and Nikki Speed (Marlborough) will do the same in the girls’ game.
Drew, who led Taft to the No. 1 seed in the City Section playoffs this year, is the first City Section player to make the all-star game since Amir Johnson represented Westchester in 2005 and the second Taft player under Derrick Taylor to do it after current Lakers guard Jordan Farmar did it 2004.
The future North Carolina Tar Heel will go against two future teammates on the East squad in Tyler Zeller (Washington, IN) and Ed Davis (Richmond, VA).
It was a surprise that his name was announced considering he was ranked the No. 3-point guard in the state according to Scout.com and No. 76 on Rivals.com’s Top 150 list. However, the committee wisely recognized that there are few point guards anywhere in the country that possess the maturity and vision that Drew has.
Not surprising, however, was the selection of Derozan, the leading scorer in the state (29.1 points per game). The Compton High School senior is the first from his school to reach the prestigious game and led the Tarbabes to back-to-back Moore League titles.
The future USC Trojan has dazzled so far in the Southern Section playoffs, scoring 40 in the Tarbabes’ opener against Verbum Dei.
UCLA will be well represented with both Holiday and Lee on the roster, the first time two Bruins will be at McDonald’s since 2004. Holiday was a no-brainer as he was arguably the best player in the state in leading Campbell Hall to a No. 1 seed in the Division III-AA playoffs with his averages of 25.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and nearly seven assists.
Lee has been one of the top guards in the country and has averaged 24.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for J.W. North of Riverside
Jennings, who started at Dominguez before transferring to Oak Hill his junior year, will join Derozan as the first Compton-area players in the game since Detroit Pistons forward Arron Afflalo in 2004. He committed to Arizona after backing out of his original oral commitment to USC.
On the girl’s side, future Rutgers teammates Dixon and Speed will share the court like they did when they played on the same club team. Dixon, arguably the most decorated basketball player in Poly history, will also be their first All-American while Speed is the second All-American from Marlborough, joining 2006 alum Abi Olajuwon.
Both girls will play with future teammate Brooklyn Pope (Ft. Worth, TX) and against future teammates Chelsey Lee (Miramar, FL) and April Sykes (Crawford, MS)
USC has two representatives in the game in guards Ashley Corral (Vancouver, WA) and Briana Gilbreath (Katy, TX)
The games will played on March 26 with the girls playing at 4:00 p.m. on ESPNU and the boys playing at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.