UK Recruiting

Louisville signee Hammond first from state to make McDonald's All-American squad

UK signee Bria Goss, right, celebrated with teammates after winning the Indiana Class 4A girls' state title last year.
UK signee Bria Goss, right, celebrated with teammates after winning the Indiana Class 4A girls' state title last year. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kentucky and Louisville will each add a McDonald's All-American to their rosters next season.

When the teams were released Thursday, Cardinals signee Sara Hammond became the first girl from the state of Kentucky to be named to the prestigious high school all-star basketball team.

The Rockcastle County forward and leading candidate for Miss Basketball will be on the East along with UK signee Bria Goss.

When Hammond's high school coach told her the big news two weeks ago that they'd received a letter confirming her place on the team, Hammond barely believed it.

"I just had to stop for a few seconds and think in my head, 'Is this for real, is this true?" Hammond said. "I was very excited. I'm just honored to represent Kentucky in such a national event. To be an All-American from Kentucky is such a privilege."

The McDonald's All-American Game has been played every year since 1977 for the boys but only since 2002 for the girls.

Hammond is averaging 15.5 points and 12.2 rebounds while shooting 57.5 percent from the field. She picked Louisville over Connecticut and is ranked the 12th-best player in the nation by ESPN's Hammond will be the first McDonald's All-American for the Cardinals.

The University of Kentucky's roster will have three McDonald's All-Americans next season with the addition of Goss, one of the top contenders for Indiana Miss Basketball. The 5-foot-10 guard was rated the seventh-best player in the nation by Hoopgurlz and the fourth-best guard in the class.

Goss plays for Ben Davis High School, which is unbeaten through 20 games (78 straight wins overall), and she is leading the way, averaging 21.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 3.1 assists.

Goss said she was elated when she got the news.

"This has been one of my goals ever since my freshman year," she said. "So I was really happy when I found out. It's just really exciting."

UK had never signed a McDonald's All-American before last season when it got guard Jennifer O'Neill. Since then, the Cats also have added Samarie Walker, a transfer from Connecticut, who was a McDonald's All-American with O'Neill.