Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 | 3:15 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer fill out their brackets for the Sunset and Sunrise regional tournaments.
The accolades are continuing to come in for Findlay Prep senior Nigel Williams-Goss.
This honor, however, might be the most significant for the Washington-committed point guard.
Williams-Goss was one of 24 high school basketball players nationwide selected Thursday for the McDonald’s All-American game. The game, whose alumni include the likes of LeBron James and Derrick Rose, is April 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
“Nobody works harder than Nigel,” Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon said. “He has earned everything he has received. He has done it the old-fashioned way of rolling up his sleeves.”
This is the fourth straight year the Findlay program has had a McDonald’s selection, joining Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics) in 2009, Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Cory Joseph (San Antonio Spurs) in 2010, Myck Kabongo (Texas) in 2011, and Anthony Bennett (UNLV) and Brandon Ashley (Arizona) last year.
Findlay is undefeated and the nation’s consensus No. 1 team. The Pilots have won three of the past four ESPN National High School Invitational Championships, taking a new group of top players from around the world for typically one year and thriving against an elite national schedule.
Williams-Goss is the lone exception.
He came to the Henderson school as a freshman from the Pacific Northwest and is the school’s first four-year player.
He’s played alongside and competed against the likes of Joseph, Kabongo and Nick Johnson, a sophomore standout at Arizona, in developing into one of the nation’s top point guards.He initially committed to UNLV as a sophomore but reopened his recruitment when coach Lon Kruger left for Oklahoma.
“That is one of the strengths of the program, a purity to still develop and the competition in practice,” Simon said. “It is not about getting 25 shots a game. Those things don’t translate to the college level.”
This year, he is averaging about 18 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game and will wrap up his Findlay career in two months near the top in several of the program’s all-time statistical categories.
“Coming here at age 14 and now coming out the other end at this stage of his career, his senior year, with all of the accolades and on the No. 1 team, what he has done is just special,” Simon said.
Williams-Goss was considered the nation’s ninth best point guard earlier this season by one recruiting service, but he has arguably been the nation’s top player all year. Against No. 2 Montverde Academy last month on ESPNU, Williams-Goss scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter to help Findlay erase a 12-point deficit, hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the last-second win.
“Nobody is more deserving of these accolades,” Simon said.
Earlier this month, Williams-Goss was also selected for the Jordan Brand Classic on April 13 in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. With alumni such as Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, it’s one of two important all-star showcases after the high school season.