Webb’s Hicks named McDonald’s All-American

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 11:34 PM

The secret is out. J.F. Webb’s Isaiah Hicks is a McDonald’s All-American.

Hicks’ selection to the elite all-star event was announced live on ESPNU Thursday.

“It’s an honor,” said Hicks. “Thank God for giving me the chance.”

The McDonald’s All-American festivities are highlighted by the boys game, slated for April 3 in Chicago’s United Center.

Hicks was one of 12 players selected to the East squad alongside fellow North Carolina recruit Kennedy Meeks of Charlotte. They were the only players chosen from the state.

Hicks said he’s most excited to play alongside his future teammate, Meeks.

Tar Heel target Andrew Wiggins joins Hicks and Meeks on the East squad. The 6-foot-8 Canadian forward is the consensus top player in the Class of 2013.

Kentucky leads the way with five All-American selections. Duke and N.C. State are the only other ACC schools with players on the squad. Blue Devil recruits Jabari Parker and Matt Jones are on the West squad while future Wolfpack point guard Anthony Barber represents the East.

“It’s going to really show who can do what, who is going to step up and who is not,” said Hicks. “I just want to go up there and play hard, just show that anybody can play from anywhere. Nobody expected anybody from Oxford to make the McDonald’s All-American team.”

And the show will be there for the world to see. The game will be televised on ESPN, marking Hicks’ second appearance on national television. The first came in an AAU game in Florida.

“For a small community like Oxford with how supportive they’ve been of our basketball team for the last few years, it’s a credit to everyone,” said Warrior coach Leo Brunelli. “Everyone that night is going to be able to point at that TV and say, ‘That’s where we’re from.’ That’s how you put a small town on a big map.”

Hicks received the news about a week ago, but had to keep it quiet, even from his teammates.

“You want to tell everybody the good news and stuff,” said Hicks. “It was really hard.”

Brunelli was one of the few who knew of Hicks’ selection before the ESPNU telecast, but he too, spent the last week sidestepping the question.

“It’s one of those accomplishments that you want to invite everyone to know about as soon as you find out. We couldn’t,” said Brunelli.

Hicks is averaging 24 points per game for Webb (19-4, 8-1 Carolina Conference). The Warriors are in the midst of a race for the league championship with Chapel Hill, which handed Webb its only loss this season to a NCHSAA team.

“As a coach, you look at hoping to have great teams and great players,” said Brunelli, “but the combination this year of a McDonald’s All-American surrounded by a great team — what more can you ask for as a coach?”

The Warriors close the regular season tonight at home against rival Southern Vance. Webb won the previous match 84-52 behind Hicks’ 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks.

“What better night than tomorrow night, senior night, to be able to announce (Hicks’ selection) in front of our crowd and our fans,” said Brunelli. “And with Southern Vance coming in, what better team to come in, who has grown up with Isaiah in this area and know him. It should be a treat for everyone.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.