Courtesy of McDonald's News Release
HOUSTON, TX – Today, McDonald's unveiled that local Houstonians are among the top basketball talent nominated to take part in the 2020 McDonald's All American Games. The list of more than 900 top girls and boys high school seniors from across the country recognizes 20 players from Houston, Texas– 6 male and 14 female players. The local players nominated for the 2020 Games are:
Nate Clover, Memorial High School, Port Arthur
LJ Cryer, Morton Ranch High School, Katy
Foluwaso Fashoro, Ridge Point High School, Missouri City
Kenneth Lofton, Memorial Hgih School, Port Arthur
Tramon Mark, Dickinson High School, Dickinson
Luke Thorburn, Strake Jesuit College Prep, Houston
Laila Blair, Waller High School, Waller
Telisha Brown, Houston Wheatley High School, Houston
Riane Burton, Cypress Ranch High School, Cypress
Elyssa Coleman, Atascocita High School, Humble
Makayla Cross, James Madison High School, Houston
DeYona Gaston, Pearland High School, Pearland
Maliyah Johnson, Summer Creek High School, Houston
Precious Johnson, Ross S. Sterling High School, Baytown
Zaria Johnson, Hightower High School, Missouri City
Kameryn Lewis, Westside High School, Houston
Destini Lombard, Hightower High School, Missouri City
Taelor Pruvis, Hightower High School, Missouri City
Fatou Samb, Westside High School, Houston
Kendria Wilson, James Madison High School, Houston
Alumni of the nation's premier high school basketball all-star event include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, James Harden, Maya Moore and Candace Parker. This year's list of talent includes players from 48 states and the District of Columbia who have been selected by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald's All American Games Selection Committee.
A complete list of 2020 McDonald's All American Games Nominees is available at mcdaag.com. The final rosters of the top 24 girls and 24 boys for the 2020 McDonald's All American Games will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN's The Jump and also covered at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN's SportsCenter. Follow @McDAAG on Twitter and Instagram for more information in the lead-up to the reveal of the country's top emerging players.
"We are so proud that 20 local students have been recognized as nominees for the 2020 McDonald's All American Games," said Carla Moore, President of the McDonald's Greater Houston Owner/Operators Association. "These talented players have proven their dedication and hard work both on and off the basketball court, and we are thrilled to have them represent Houston on a national level."
The 19th annual McDonald's All American Girls Game will tip off on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, April 1. The 43rd annual Boys Game immediately follows at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
McDonald's All American Games continues to invest in local communities across the country through support of Ronald McDonald House Charities and its network of local Chapters. At RMHC, programs like the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® provide comfort and compassion to families with ill or injured children so they are fully supported and able to be a part of their child's care.
Be sure to follow @McDAAG on Twitter and Instagram to receive exclusive access to 2020 McDonald's All American Games announcements and a behind-the-scenes look at current and past McDonald's All Americans.
ABOUT McDONALD'S GREATER HOUSTON OWNER/OPERATORS
The McDonald's Greater Houston Owner/Operators Association (GHOA) is a co-operative of local business owners who own and operate more than 300 McDonald's restaurants in Greater Houston. GHOA-owned McDonald's restaurants employ more than 15,000 people in the Greater Houston community. Follow Houston McDonald's on Instagram @McDonaldsHouston.
About McDonald's USA
McDonald's serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.
About Ronald McDonald House Charities®
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation that creates, finds, and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through its global network of over 275 Chapters in more than 65 countries and regions, and its three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House, the Ronald McDonald Family Room and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, RMHC helps families with ill or injured children stay together, and close to the medical care their child needs at leading hospitals worldwide. RMHC programs not only provide access to quality health care, they enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their children's care. For more information, visit rmhc.org. Follow RMHC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
# # #
To many people, Trevor Noah is best-known for taking over Comedy Central's The Daily Show a few years ago. But on top of that, Noah is a best-selling author.
Born a Crime, a New York Times best-selling book written by Noah in 2016, is a comedic autobiography chronicling his childhood in South Africa during the apartheid, which he describes as a "purposeful and deliberate form of government-imposed segregation and racism".
This is Westside senior Fatou Samb's favorite book because of her family's ties to Senegal, West Africa where both her parents (Alassane and Mariama) grew up.
"It mixes history with comedy," Samb said. "Lots of advice and lessons within the book. I like that book a lot."
When Samb was six-years-old, she traveled to Senegal. The now-grown up Samb doesn't remember anything about the trip to the country, but she can understand the native language.
"I can't remember a thing, but I picked up the language 'Wolof' which is based off French," Samb said. "I can understand it completely, but I just can't speak it."
Samb loves books.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is another one. That piece is one that Samb is currently working on for her AP Literature class at the HISD school.
"It's an escape," Samb said about reading. "It can bring you to a different place without leaving your house, so I think that's really interesting about books."
Outside of sitting down and enjoying a good book, Samb spends the rest of her time socializing and climbing the espnW 100 list and is to currently ranked No. 53 in the country as a five-star prospect.
"Absolutely not, I thought I was just playing to play," Samb said about becoming a top prospect. "Maybe I'll be a little good, but I didn't know it could take you so many places and open up so many doors."
The Beginning to Now
Growing up, Samb's mother Mariama wanted her to be active, which included getting her into basketball.
"It's actually a funny story. It started with my mom," Samb said. "I was a little chubby when I was younger, so my mom was just trying to put me in anything to lose weight. So, I did swimming, softball and it was basketball that really stuck with me."
It was in the ninth grade when Samb felt like she could utilize basketball as a "bus" to get her where she wanted to go.
Three years later, Samb will step onto the court verbally committed to Cal-Berkley, choosing it over Northwestern, Michigan, Rice and Harvard.
"Relationship-wise, all schools were great, however, I felt a deeper connection with the Berkeley staff," Samb said. "From our conversation, I could feel their want to make me a better person in all aspects of my life and help me reach new heights. Also, the team was easy to vibe with and we're cold basketball-wise. I trust and believe Coach Charmin and the staff have what it takes to help me reach my potential and further."
Last year Westside's season ended in a triple-overtime Regional Final thriller against Summer Creek, which didn't go the Wolves' way.
As they watched the Lady Bulldogs celebrate their first ever state tournament berth on the Delmar Fieldhouse court, Samb said that was painful.
"It hurt, it hurt for a long time," she said. "I know for a fact that we could have been in that state tournament. I think it taught us valuable lessons that will carry on with the program for many years to come."
Looking to her senior year, Samb described her feelings as kind of sad. It's a time of change with her high school career ending, but she's excited about the upcoming season and her own future.
Westside will add a new player to the floor this year who Samb is very familiar with – sister Khady Samb, who plays volleyball and basketball.
"I'm super excited, it's our first year to play together," Samb said. "She was on varsity last year but her paperwork wasn't in. She played with the freshmen. This will be the first time I'll be with her on the court and I'll definitely get on her the most for sure."