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Gray named McDonald’s All-American

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Gray named McDonald’s All-American

Chelsea Gray

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POSTED February 12, 2010 3:10 a.m.
Manteca resident and St. Mary’s High girls basketball star Chelsea Gray has garnered nationwide attention and the accolades that come with it, but the latest tops them all.

Gray was one of just 48 high school players in the country selected to play in the 33rd annual McDonald’s All-American Games Thursday. The announcement was made during a half-hour telecast on ESPNU.
The games will take place on March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Gray, bound for Duke University on a full-ride scholarship, will be joined by St. Mary’s teammate Afure Jemerigbe, who is headed to Cal. Former St. Mary’s standout Jacki Gemelos, now at USC, was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2006, and many of the WNBA’s stars have participated in the event since it was open to girls in 2002.

“I was so happy when I heard that I was going to be a McDonalds All-American,” Gray told host Lowell Galindo via phone interview that aired on ESPNU’s selection show Thursday. “It was a blessing when I first heard it. My dedication and hard work has been recognized. It has been a blessing and I am truly grateful for it.”

The selection process consists of four rounds, and this year it started with a list of 2,150 male and female nominees. The list was narrowed down to the top 125 players in the nation for each gender, then top 50 and top 30.

Weston Ranch alumnus James Nunnally and Modesto Christian graduate Jessica Graham, who also played for Ripon High for three years, were nominated in 2008. Nunnally currently plays for UC Santa Barbara, and Graham for the University of Idaho.
Gray was considered a top prospect even back when she attended Brock Elliot School in Manteca. She is rated the fourth best player in her class nationally, the second best point guard and the top overall senior in California, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

ESPN HoopGurlz also ranked Duke’s 2010 recruiting class No. 1 in the nation.

Paul Biancardi, ESPN’s National Director of Basketball Recruiting, praised Gray’s floor game on the ESPNU telecast. Her combination of size (5-foot-11) and ball-handling skills make her a rare commodity at the high school level.

“She can create shots for herself and her teammates, and she’s one of the more impressive passers in the class of 2010,” Biancardi said.

St. Mary’s went 31-3 last year and claimed the California Interscholastic Federation Division III state championship. Gray averaged 20 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and five steals and was named the CalHiSports.com junior class player of the year. She was also selected to Parade Magazine’s All-American third team.

St. Mary’s is currently 23-1 and is the country’s top-ranked girls team on the ESPN Rise and USA Today Super 25 polls.

While there is still work left to be done between now and the McDonald’s All-American Games on March 31, Gray told Galindo that she looks forward to showing the nation what she can do. The girls game will broadcast live on ESPNU and will tipoff at 2:30 p.m. The boys game will tip off at 5 and will be on ESPN.

For more information about the McDonald’s All-American Games, visit www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com.

“I just want to showcase my talent while I play the game I love,” Gray said. “It’s just going to be a wonderful experience. … and I will cherish every moment of it.”
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