NUTLEY – Nutley High School senior guard Blair Watson has been selected to play in the 15th annual McDonald’s HIgh School Girls’ Basketball All-American Game.
Watson is the only player from New Jersey selected to play in the game, which will take place March 30 at the United Center in Chicago. The game begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
This season, Watson became the all-time leading scorer for NHS girls’ basketball, achieving the milestone during the 59-43 home win over Newark Tech on Jan. 5, the sixth game of the season for the Lady Raiders. Watson broke the record in the first half, and finished with 27 points in the game. The previous record was 1,602 points held by 1999 graduate Kim DiVincenzo Root.
Entering the week, Watson has 1,698 career points. Watson has played in nine game this season, averaging 23.6 points a game.
The 6-foot Watson, who signed with the University of Maryland, is one of 12 players for the East team, which will play the West team, in the McDonald’s All-American Game, which features the top players in the country.
Watson was grateful for the honor of being a McDonald’s All-American.
“It is a great honor to be named a McDonald’s All American,” said Watson in a twitter message to the Nutley Journal. “I am still pinching myself, because I just can’t believe I got picked. I am truly blessed and would like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life.”
NHS head coach Larry Mitschow was ecstatic for Watson.
“What an honor it is for Blair to be named to the McDonald’s All-American Game!! I am so proud of her,” said Mitchow in an email “All her hard work and determination has paid off. As a coach, I could never in my wildest dreams imagine coaching a player of Blair’s ability. At times, I find myself with my assistant coaches on the bench watching her like we are fans in the bleachers. Blair will represent Nutley with nothing but class in Chicago at the Mcdonald’s Game. If you haven’t seen her play yet, I really hope the people that live in Nutley will come out and see her before it’s too late!”
Watson scored 27 points, including hitting all eight of her 3-pointers in the first half, and pulled down 13 rebounds and freshman Rebecca Granata had 14 points with three 3-pointers, but the Raiders fell to undefeated East Orange Campus, 72-56, at home on Jan. 12. Watson scored 24 in the first half, all on three-pointers, as Nutley trailed 36-34 at halftime. East Orange Campus, one of the top teams in the state, improved to 8-0.
Watson had a season-low 14 points in a 57-35 loss at Newark Shabazz on Jan. 14. The Raiders moved to a 6-4 record.