By Stephanie Hammon
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 at 3:32 pm in Girls basketball.
One of the best classes in East Bay girls basketball history was recognized on a national level Wednesday when Salesian High’s Mariya Moore and St. Mary’s teammates Gabby Green and Mikayla Cowling were named McDonald’s All-Americans.
After countless matchups over the past four years in league play, the North Coast Section playoffs and Northern California regional championships, the three seniors will compete on the same court one last time before starting their college careers.
Green and Cowling, who are both Cal signees, are part of the West team while the Louisville-bound Moore is on the East squad for the April 2 all-star game at the United Center in Chicago.
Watching the McDonald’s All-American selection show after school with many of her St. Mary’s classmates, Green said she was relieved when the girls rosters finally aired. She was also thrilled to share the moment with Cowling.
“It’s like we’re just taking all these steps together,” said Green, who is averaging 14.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and five assists for the Panthers this season.
Moore didn’t watch the show, but monitored her phone for the news.
“I was so happy,” said the 5-foot-11 wing, who was named co-MVP of the Tri-County Athletic League with Green last season. “I feel like NorCal is kind of dominating right now. I play with (Green and Cowling) all the time and it’s cool for all of us to have made it.”
St. Mary’s is the only high school this year to produce two McDonald’s All-Americans. With Moore also selected, the area will have its biggest presence in the game since Piedmont’s Courtney and Ashley Paris and Oakland Tech teammates Alexis Gray-Lawson and Devanei Hampton went in 2005.
A 6-foot-1 guard, Green was a favorite to receive the McDonald’s All-American recognition after being one of just three high school players picked for the USA under-19 national team last summer.
But being selected to the prestigious all-star game is an honor she’d been hoping for ever since her dad, Will, planted the idea in her head when she first started playing basketball.
“Making Team USA was huge and was probably one of the biggest opportunities that I have ever gotten,” Green said. “But being a McDonald’s All-American is really special to me because that’s the first thing my dad ever said to me about basketball.”
Cowling, a 6-1 wing, is averaging 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds for St. Mary’s.
Moore’s outstanding senior season at Salesian includes four triple-doubles, a quadruple-double and averages of 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists.
No local boys players were honored this year.