AURORA | Dunking sensation and Stanford signee Fran Belibi has been on a national stage all season and she’ll get another venue as the latest McDonald’s All-American selection from a local program.
The 6-foot-1 forward — who scored a career and Regis Jesuit program-high 40 points Wednesday night — was among the 24 girls players from across the country selected to play in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game March 27 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Belibi and future Stanford teammate Ashten Prechtel of Discovery Canyon gave Colorado two selections. They will team up on the West Team roster, which includes even a third Stanford recruit in Haley Jones of Archbishop Mitty H.S. in California, who is considered the nation’s top recruit.
From an app on her phone, Belibi watched the announcement of the rosters as they were revealed live on ESPN’s The Jump, saw her name and then went back to class.
“It’s a real honor to be considered one of the best 24 players in the country for our grade and to be picked for the McDonald’s game, which is a nationally and internationally renowned game,” Belibi told the Sentinel. “Thousands of amazing players have gone through that, so it’s a real honor to see my name with some of those other great players. I’m really grateful.”
Regis Jesuit coach Carl Mattei got a text from Belibi after the announcement.
“I’m so happy for Fran because she is one of the most uncocky, uncelebratory of her accomplishments athletes than you can find,” Mattei said. “What she has done with her dunking has transformed girls basketball worldwide.
“I’m not surprised that she made it knowing how she’s put Regis on the map.”
Boys and girls basketball players from 46 states and the District of Columbia were nominated by their high school coaches, athletic directors, principals, and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee according to the organization and final rosters were announced on ESPN’s The Jump.
Belibi has garnered plenty of national acclaim from her dunks, which included an alley-oop on a pass from teammate Avery VanSickle on Jan. 12.
For the season, the 6-foot-1 frontcourt player averages 23.4 points and 13.1 rebounds per game for the 15-2 Raiders, who just finished a four-game swing to New York City for the Rose Classic Super Jam tournament.
It hasn’t been long since Aurora’s last selection to the McDonald’s All-American Game, as Grandview graduate Michaela Onyenwere made the 2017 game.
Onyenwere, who is now starring at UCLA, started and scored eight points for the West Team in an 80-74 overtime loss to the East Team.
Belibi and Prechtel were the only selections among six Colorado girls nominees, which also included Belibi’s Regis Jesuit teammate Sidney Weigand, Highlands Ranch’s Autumn Watts, Horizon’s Arielle Wisne and Columbine’s Maura Singer.
The McDonald’s All-American festivities includes the POWERADE JamFest at Wheeler High School on March 25, while the girls and boys games will be broadcast back-to-back March 27 on ESPN2.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
2019 MCDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS ROSTERS
WEST TEAM: FRANCESCA BELIBI, F, 6-FOOT-1, REGIS JESUIT H.S. – STANFORD; Kierstan Bell, G, 6-1, McKinley H.S. (Ohio) – Ohio State; Kennedy Brown, P, 6-6, Derby Senior H.S. – Oregon State; Nyah Green, G, 6-1, Allen H.S. (Texas) – Louisville; Angel Jackson, P, 6-5, Salesian College Preparatory (Calif.) – USC; Rickea Jackson, W, 6-2, Detroit Edison Public Academy (Mich.) – Mississippi State; Haley Jones, W, 6-1, Archbishop Mitty H.S. (Calif.) – Stanford; Jordyn Oliver, G, 5-10, Prosper H.S. (Texas) – Baylor; Charisma Osborne, PG, 5-9, Windward School (Calif.) – UCLA; Jaden Owens, PG, 5-6, Plano West H.S. – UCLA; Anaya Peoples, PG, 5-10, Schlarman Academy (Ill.) – Notre Dame; Ashten Prechtel, P, 6-5, Discovery Canyon Campus (Colo.) – Stanford
EAST TEAM: River Baldwin, P, 6-foot-5, Pleasant Home H.S. (Ala.) – Florida State; Breanna Beal, W, 6-0, Rock Island H.S. (Ill.) – South Carolina; Aliyah Boston, P, 6-4, Worcester Academy (Mass.) – South Carolina; Jakia Brown-Turner, W, 6-0, Bishop McNamara H.S. (Md.) – North Carolina State; Samantha Brunelle, F, 6-2, William Monroe H.S. (Va.) – Notre Dame; Zia Cooke, PG, 5-9, Rogers H.S. (Ohio) – South Carolina; Aubrey Griffin, W, 6-1, Ossining Senior H.S. (New York) – Connecticut; Jordan Horston, G, 6-1, Columbus Africentric H.S. (Ohio) – Tennessee; Diamond Miller, G, 6-1, Franklin H.S. (New Jersey) – Maryland; Ashley Owusu, 5-9, PG, Paul VI H.S. (Va.) – Maryland; Sammie Puisis, W, 6-1, William Mason H.S. (Ohio) – Florida State; Celeste Taylor, G, 5-11, Long Island Lutheran H.S. (New York) – Texas