KINGMAN - The days before Desirae Gonzalez took the floor Friday night against River Valley to go after her 2,000th career point in high school, she was paying more attention to the fact that she has been nominated for the 2016 McDonald's All American Game March 30 at Chicago's United Center.
"I wasn't thinking about it until my brother said '2,000' last night (Tuesday)," she said. "No matter if I make it or don't make it, it's an honor to be recognized like this."
A total of 755 high school seniors have been nominated for both the boys and girls teams. Each of those will have final rosters of 24. Two teams of 12 (East vs. West) will take the floor that night, which will be televised on ESPN.
The final rosters will be revealed at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU from The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., a place Gonzalez remembers from her youth. She reached the national finals for the Elks Hoop Shoot free-throw contest several years ago.
Gonzalez, who will play for the University of Nevada, Reno next year, leads the state of Arizona in scoring with 30.4 points per game. She's also just one of three Arizona girls to be nominated.
"It's almost like I don't know how to feel about it," she said. "I've watched the McDonald's All American Game for years now. I'm like 'wow, I could be out there.' It's almost weird."
Accolades and awards are piling up for Gonzalez. Sometimes it's hard to remember the articulate and intelligent young lady is just a teenager and that perhaps a little too much pressure is being put on her.
"It's yes and no," she said. "Yes, because now that I got some of these big awards, people are going to expect me to keep scoring 35 points a game. Part of me doesn't what to disappoint anyone.
"But the other part of me is that it doesn't matter what others think because I got what I worked for with my scholarship, and I can just go out and play basketball."