Kenton Ridge High School senior Mikala Morris was nominated for the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game earlier this month — and she found out about it on Twitter.
When one of her former AAU teammates retweeted the nominations, Morris clicked on the list to see if she had played with any of the girls selected. She quickly scanned the list and was surprised to see her name among the nominees.
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’,” she said.
Morris was one of more than 800 boys and girls nominated nationwide and one of 20 girls from Ohio nominated for the annual senior all-star game, a list that includes Toledo Rogers’ Zia Cooke (South Carolina commit) and Columbus Africentric’s Jordan Horston (Tennessee commit).
“I was really surprised and grateful and excited about it,” said Morris, a 6-foot-2 post player who recently signed with Division I Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, Conn. “They’re all amazing players. I’m really grateful to be included.”
Morris played AAU with several other nominees, including Wilmington’s Mya Jackson (Seton Hall). The 24-player final rosters will be announced on Thursday. The 18th annual McDonald’s All American Girls Game will be held at 5 p.m. March 27 in Atlanta and will be televised live on ESPN2. The 42nd annual boys game immediately follows the girls game at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
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“I’m hoping that I make it, but I know there’s so many talented girls and it’s going to be hard to make it,” Morris said.
The 6-foot-2 post player leads the Central Buckeye in both scoring (25.2 points per game) and rebounding (22.7 rebounds per game) this season. She scored a career-high 44 points against Shawnee on Jan. 5, going 20-for-22 from the field.
“(The nomination) speaks volumes about the type of player she is,” said Cougars coach Matt McCurdy. “We talk about how great she is on the court, but she’s an even better person. She’s a lot of fun to be around. She’s very humble and happy go lucky. She gets along with all the girls and she rarely mentions the accolades.”
The Cougars (10-3, 2-2 CBC Kenton Trail Division) recently earned big non-conference wins against both Greeneview and Northmont. Kenton Ridge faced a key division game against Jonathan Alder on Saturday, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.
“As a team, we’re jelling together and the chemistry is really good right now,” Morris said. “Winning those games showed everyone we’re a pretty good team, too.”
Morris is still on pace to break the state’s all-time career rebounding record of 1,690 set by Eastlake North’s Kaayla Chones from 1996-1999. Morris is currently sitting at 1,544 career rebounds, 146 shy of the state record.
The Cougars have nine games remaining, but she’s not worried about the record. The goal is to win as many games as possible and finish strong in the postseason, Morris said.
“We’ve just got to keep playing unselfish and keep working hard every day as a team,” Morris said.