All-American committee nominates two seniors

 

By Jack Davis

Basketball players Austin Kelly ’10 and Erik Swoope ’10 have been nominated for the McDonald’s High School All-American game, the fifth and sixth players in Harvard-Westlake history to be nominated for the game.

Centers Jarron Collins ’97, Jason Collins ’97, and Alex Stepheson ’06, and guard Bryce Taylor ’04 are the only other Harvard-Westlake basketball players to have been nominated to play in the prestigious high school basketball showcase.

Harvard-Westlake is one of 12 schools from California to have more than one player nominated and 85 players from California were nominated.

The first person to find out that Swoope and Kelly were nominated was head basketball coach Greg Hilliard, who had the nomination mailed to him by the McDonald’s All-American nominating committee.

The next day at practice, Hilliard announced that Swoope and Kelly had received the honor.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” said Swoope. “It has always been a childhood dream of mine to get an opportunity to play against the best in high school basketball and I have to thank my team for looking for me out there on the floor to make something like this a possibility.”

The official teams, which usually consist of about 25 players, will be announced at the end of the month. Over 300 players across the country were nominated. The showcase is scheduled for March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

“I don’t know if it’s realistic to think I’ll make the team, but just to be nominated and have my name mentioned in the same breath as some of the other guys who got nominated is a real honor,” Kelly said.

“My family and I are just praying we get that call at the end of the month,” Swoop said.

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