Two locals nominated for McDonald’s All-American Games rosters
Two local high school basketball players have been nominated for the chance to be named to the 44th annual McDonald’s All-American Games rosters.
Pacifica Christian Orange County point guard Houston Mallette and Mater Dei shooting guard Alyssa Durazo-Frescas were included among a group of 57 nominees from the state of California.
Mallette, who has signed with Pepperdine, averaged 15.7 points, seven rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game as a junior, earning All-CIF Southern Section Division 2A honors and his second consecutive selection to the Daily Pilot Boys’ Basketball Dream Team.
“From the time that I started playing basketball as a kid, it’s always been one of my dreams to be on that list,” Mallette said. “I’m happy and proud to represent my school and my coach and my teammates and my family.
“Being the only kid from a different school than Mater Dei [in Orange County], that means a lot. We’re trying to build a program at Pacifica Christian. I think we’ve definitely built a foundation and [are] just building on top of that culture. It honestly just means the world to me, just to be considered.”
Last year, Judah Brown (St. Mary’s) became the first player in the brief history of the Pacifica Christian program to be selected as a nominee for the McDonald’s All-American teams.
Durazo-Frescas, a Costa Mesa resident, also earned All-CIF honors as a junior in the 2019-20 season, when the Monarchs went on to win a title in the Open Division. She has committed to UNLV.
Social media broke the news to Durazo-Frescas, who was joined by teammates Brooke Demetre and Meaali’i Amosa among the girls’ nominees. She said she had just woken up for a morning workout.
“I checked my phone, and I saw that my Instagram was really blowing up, and I was like, ‘What happened?’” Durazo-Frescas said. “Then I saw the list, and I was like, ‘Oh my god. I was a [nominee].’ I was pretty happy. I woke up, I got dressed, and I went to my mom, and I was like, ‘Guess who got nominated for McDonald’s All-American?’
“She was like, ‘I know. I saw. Congratulations.’ It was kind of like a little special moment for me and my mom to share this morning, so that was kind of cool.”
Mater Dei also had Wilhelm Breidenbach and Nick Davidson appear on the list of boys’ nominees.
The announcement, which came Thursday morning, also stated the McDonald’s All-American Games have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the Class of 2021 will still be honored with a virtual celebration.
There were more than 700 players nominated nationwide, and the final All-American team rosters, totaling 48 players, will be unveiled later this month.
“Even during an unprecedented year, we were so impressed seeing high school athletes continuing to celebrate the game we all love while making an impact both on and off the court,” McDonald’s All-American Games Selection Committee Chairman Joe Wootten said in a statement.
“Recognizing that many of these student-athletes had their senior seasons altered or shortened, we wanted to honor them for their skill and dedication to the game of basketball. While we’re disappointed we can’t hold an in-person Games this year, that does not take away from the accomplishments of this class and they will forever be a part of the legendary group of past and present McDonald’s All-Americans.”
Forty-four states and the District of Columbia were represented among the nominees. California had the third-most nominations, behind only Texas (87) and Florida (58).
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