Letters of Interest: Lindsay Allen of St. John’s adds McDonald’s all-American to list of accolades

February 15, 2013

St. John’s senior guard and Notre Dame recruit Lindsay Allen, center, will once again be on the big stage come April as a McDonald’s all-American (Photo by Toni. L Sandys/The Washington Post).

In Thursday’s Letters of Interest, we highlighted the junior-laden St. John’s boys’ basketball squad that stands to receive a lot of attention come this spring’s recruiting season. This morning, we’ll take a look at a senior member of St. John’s girls’ hoops squad who has already garnered plenty of attention from major colleges and then some.

Lindsay Allen served as the area’s lone player to be selected for the McDonald’s all-American Game at Chicago’s United Center on April 3. The St. John’s first received the news a few weeks ago when McDonald’s mailed out its players’ packets but Allen was just as excited Thursday when the rosters were officially announced.

“It’s definitely a surreal feeling,” Allen said during Thursday phone interview. “Growing up watching the games, admiring athletes who have played in the game like LeBron James, I never thought I’d actually get there. But I just kept working hard during the summers and [Thursday] it became official and it’s definitely an honor.”

Though the Notre Dame recruit spent her childhood looking up to McDonald’s Game alums, Allen appears built for the national stage. In talking to several people who have seen her play, including fellow Post reporter Preston Williams, it’s Allen’s ability to deliver with poise in the clutch that makes her one of the nation’s top point guards. And with Skylar Diggins set to graduate at the end of this season, the Fighting Irish could use another strong facilitator like Allen.

Perhaps the best example of this came on Feb. 4, when Allen stole a pass and drove the game-winning basket in the Cadets’ 70-69 overtime win against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival Paul VI.

“I think I’m one of the best passing guards in the country, like many of the others selected for this game,” said Allen, who is averaging 15.6 points for No. 2 St. John’s. “I feel like I can run a team and the [McDonald's] committee saw how I have evolved into a good player.”

Part of this evolution took place this past summer, when she and 11 of her fellow McDonald’s all-Americans traveled overseas to represent Team USA in the FIBA U17 World Championship. As starting point guard, Allen helped lead the U.S team to gold by recording a team-high 13 points and six assists in the title game against Spain.

The McDonald’s experience, along with her participation in the WBCA High School All-America Game on April 6 in New Orleans, should only enhance the two-time All-Met’s preparation for Notre Dame’s big-time atmosphere.

“Going to a top-five school in women’s basketball like Notre Dame and playing against top teams and top players every night, playing in events like the McDonald’s Game are great opportunities to get ready and get better,” Allen said.

In Thursday’s hoops action, three teams in The Post Top 20 suffered defeats:

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Riverdale Baptist junior center Chinanu Onuaku, whose older brother Arinze played at Syracuse, is making a name for himself and gaining lots of interest on the recruiting circuit.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 4
Games on this weekend’s schedule featuring two teams ranked in The Post Top 20. In Friday’s girls’ hoops action, No. 2 St. John’s hosts No. 5 Paul VI and No. 14 Centreville will battle No. 18 Oakton for the AAA Concorde District crown. On the boys’ side, No. 14 St. John’s will travel to play No. 3 Paul VI on Friday while No. 5 O’Connell will take on No. 1 Gonzaga at American University on Sunday.

What’s more, the Presidential Hoopfest sponsored by D.C. Assault, will take place Saturday at Northwestern High.
No. 4 Montrose Christian will play Friendship Collegiate at 2 p.m., No. 16 Riverdale Baptist will play Miller School at 3:45 p.m., Princeton Day will take on Middleburg Academy at 5:30 p.m. and in the marquee matchup, No. 2 Theodore Roosevelt will battle Dunbar (Baltimore) at 7:15 p.m.

BREAKFAST LINKS
–For the first time in decades, the D.C. city title basketball game will not pit the top WCAC team against the D.C. public school champion. Click here to get the breakdown on the D.C. State Athletic Association’s new eight-team tournament format to decide the city champ.

–Just a few years after having informal practices in the cafeteria on a donated mat, Max Smith has helped turn Jewish Day into a wrestling contender.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Princeton Day at No. 16 Riverdale Baptist, 7 p.m.
About 1,000 fans showed up for their first meeting on Jan. 18, when Riverdale won 70-50. With the Crusaders’ loss to National Christian earlier this week, Princeton Day can enter a three-way tie for first in the Capital Beltway Conference with a win.

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