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Local gets All-American nomination

Bits and pieces from the local sports scene.

Bell-Jeff’s Napier nominated for McDonald’s All-American: Rishonda Napier has been an integral part of the success of the Bellarmine-Jefferson High’s girls’ basketball program the last four years.

During her tenure, the senior guard has earned local, regional and state awards. However, the latest of Napier’s accolades comes on a national level.

Napier has been nominated as a McDonald’s All-American candidate.


For the past three and a half decades, McDonald’s has recognized the finest high school basketball players in the nation with its All-American teams. Past All-Americans include Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Candace Parker and many other athletes who have gone on to success in the NBA and WNBA.

Napier is among only 18 girls nominated from California and is the first female in the history of Bell-Jeff to be considered for the award.

“That’s the single greatest basketball achievement of my life and I feel so proud and so blessed,” Napier said of the nomination. “It’s just changed my mindset a lot and made me want to work harder.”

Napier said the recognition definitely took her by surprise.


“I was very surprised. I was shocked. I had no idea,” she said

The final list of 24 girls’ and 24 boys’ All-Americans will be announced on ESPNU on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. The All-Americans will be invited to Chicago to play in the annual McDonald’s All-American basketball game on March 28 at the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls.

Napier is a four-year starter for the Guards. Along with earning All-State, All-CIF Southern Section, all-league and All-Area accolades, she has also helped Bell-Jeff win three straight Santa Cruz League championships, as well as Southern Section and state titles in 2009.

Tubert earns spot on USA team: Burroughs High graduate and University of Arkansas sophomore Emily Tubert is one of three final players named to the 2012 USA Curtis Cup team, the United States Golf Assn. announced recently.

Tubert is one of eight players who will represent the USA June 8-10 at the Nairn Golf Club in Scotland.

Tubert has had many successes on the golf course during her career. Her one-plus year on the collegiate circuit includes first-team All-Southeastern Conference and All-America honors after winning three tournaments, posting nine top-10 finishes while rewriting the Razorback record books.

Tubert led the team in scoring average with a 72.16 mark, and was the top-ranked freshman in the SEC, earning both SEC First-Team as well as SEC co-Freshman of the Year honors in 2011. She finished the season in the top five in every single-season statistical category and in nearly all of the career categories at Arkansas. She holds school records for rounds played (tied with 37), low round (63), low round versus par (63), low 36 hole total (131) and low 54 hole total (205).

In addition to her collegiate accomplishments, Tubert won the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, was runner-up the following year, was runner-up at the American Junior Golf Assn. Rolex Tournament of Champions, was a member of the winning Canon Cup West team and won a gold medal at the 2011 Spirit International, leading Team USA to a 10-stroke win in Trinity, Texas.


Of the eight players selected, four hail from the Southeastern Conference. In addition to Tubert, the SEC is represented by Austin Ernst, a sophomore at LSU, Brooke Pancake, a senior at Alabama and Erica Popson, a junior at Tennessee. The rest of the team includes Lisa McCloskey, Amy Anderson, Lindy Duncan and Tiffany Lua. All eight Curtis Cup team members were selected to the National Golf Coaches Assn.'s All-American first or second team in 2011.

The Curtis Cup is a biennial international women’s amateur event that is contested between eight-player teams from the United States, England and Ireland. Team USA won the 2010 match. Teams compete as six foursomes and play an alternate shot format, six four-ball matches and eight singles matches over three days. Team USA has won the last seven events and leads the all-time series, 27-6-3.

Jeff Tully