Four television screens in the dining room of a local restaurant echoed the news in surround sound.
Spring Valley’s Xylina McDaniel is a 2012 McDonald’s High School All-American.
McDaniel found out about the honor through a televised Selection Show on ESPNU, which the Vikings girls basketball team gathered to watch.
McDaniel had been among six South Carolina basketball players nominated for the slots in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American games, to be played on March 28 in Chicago’s United Center. Teammate Asia Dozier was also nominated, along with Goose Creek’s Ndea Bryant and Myrtle Beach’s Khadijah Sessions. Jordan Roper, of Irmo, and Brice Johnson, of Edisto, were nominated for the boys’ teams.
McDaniel was the only player from South Carolina selected.
McDaniel is one 48 student-athletes across the country to receive the honor, and coach Anne Long said, “It couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
“She’s kind and strong and affable. And she works harder than possibly any other player I’ve had,” Long said.
Long knew getting both players on the team would be improbable, but felt either player would represent South Carolina and Spring Valley well.
McDaniel is the first McDonald’s All-American that Long has coached. She deflected the attention as much as possible.
“It’s a great honor and it brings a lot of glory to my team and the state,” said McDaniel, who has signed with North Carolina. “I’m excited and nervous. The people on that list (of previous All-Americans), I used to look up to and now I’m on the list with them.”
McDaniel said she could not have made All-American without the support and encouragement of her teammates, and while she looks forward to playing in the country’s most-watched all-star game, there is something she is more focused on right now.
“This just lets me know, as we’re going for one more state championship, I’ve got to keep working hard,” McDaniel said. “It’s another push. It hasn’t been that long, and already it’s helping me.”