BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Ridgeview High senior Erica McCall was named Thursday to the McDonald's All-American Girls Basketball Team, one of the highest honors available for a prep basketball player. McCall will play in the game at 4 p.m. April 3 at the United Center in Chicago. It will be televised on ESPNU.
"It's a great honor," she said. "I'm very flattered to get the opportunity. Growing up, I wanted to be an All-American, so I'm very excited."
McCall, a three-time Californian Player of the Year, is a 6-foot-3 forward who has signed to play collegiately at Stanford. ESPN ranks her as the No. 11 player in her class.
The most difficult part of her selection, McCall said, was keeping it a secret. She had received word that she had been selected earlier this month but was asked to keep quiet until Thursday's official announcement.
"It was really hard at times, especially with my closest friends," McCall said. "I didn't want them to ruin the secret, but everybody was happy in the end."
McCall is averaging 18.9 points, 15.2 rebounds and 9.7 blocks per game for the Wolf Pack this season. Ridgeview is ranked No. 3 in Cal Hi Sports' Division II state rankings.
"This was definitely part of my checklist," McCall said. "I always have big goals, and this was definitely one of them. Now I just have to keep working hard so we can win Valley and win state."
She becomes the third McDonald's All-American from Kern County, following West's Nikki Blue in 2002 and Robert Swift, who made the boys team in 2004 during his senior season at Bakersfield High. McCall's sister, DeWanna Bonner, was a selected in 2005 after her senior season at Fairfield (Ala.) High. She plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.
McCall will reunite in Chicago with teammates from various U.S. national youth teams she has played with, and with future Stanford teammate, Kailee Johnson, a forward from Portland (Ore.)-Central Catholic.
"It's going to be exciting," McCall said. "I can't wait."