Salem Academy’s Brown, Smith Nominated For McDonald’s All-American Game

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–Since the third-grade, Aimee Smith and Sydney Brown both have played basketball together and there’s no doubt that they’ll continue their basketball careers after their senior season this season.

While they’ve been named to all-leagues and all-tournament teams and compiling noteworthy statistics up to this point, both can add another thing to their incredible playing careers that they can be just as prouder of:

A Nomination for the McDonald’s All-American Game.

With names like Dwight Clark, Magic Johnson having played in the guys side, South Salem-graduate Evina Westbrook played in the girls game last season before going to Tennessee

“It was really cool, I wasn’t really expecting it,” said Smith on being nominated.  “I was really happy, it’s really awesome. I can’t describe it, it’s really cool.  I’m thankful for it.”

Smith and Brown enjoying being recognized as Salem Academy AD Steve Reed broke the new about the Nomination (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

They were notified last night of the nomination as Brown remembers all the hard work her and Smith put in since they’ve first started to play basketball together all those years ago.

“It’s just cool to living it with her, we’ve been doing it since third-grade actually, we’ve been playing basketball since the third-grade and now it’s our senior year and getting this award together is really special,” said Brown on sharing it with her long-time friend and teammate.

The announcements were made before their game versus Gervais as Smith and Brown were apart of the total 700 players to be nominated.  In their game Thursday, Smith had 12 points, six steals and four rebounds and Brown had 18 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the 55-28 victory Thursday night over the Lady Cats and handing Gervais their first PacWest Conference-loss of the year and just their fourth on the season.

Both are the lone Salem-area girls to be nominated, joining West Salem’s Kyle Greeley and Sprague’s Teagan Quitoriano to be nominated for the Game’s to be played on March 28 in Atlanta, Gerogia if they are selected.

The final rosters will be announced on January 16.

As for their Head Coach, he knows how much work the girls put in over the years.

“They have put in so much time with camps travel teams alone in the gym for hours working on their game,” said Ben Brown.  “They have always pushed each other to get better and the fact they both have been blessed with this honor and reached it together is amazing! I’m very thankful!!”

In the win as well, Kirsten Koehnke had 11 points and five assist.  Grace Brown had two points but contributed also with four rebounds and two assist.

Photos of Game (Pictures By Jeremy McDonald)




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