By Jack Davis
Basketball players Austin Kelly â10 and Erik Swoope â10 have been nominated for the McDonaldâs High School All-American game, the fifth and sixth players in Harvard-Westlake history to be nominated for the game.
Centers Jarron Collins â97, Jason Collins â97, and Alex Stepheson â06, and guard Bryce Taylor â04 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 McDonaldâs All-American nominating committee.
The next day at practice, Hilliard announced that Swoope and Kelly had received the honor.
“Iâm 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 donât know if itâs realistic to think Iâll 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.