Since 2002, 24 high school boys and 24 high school girls are chosen to be part of a team filled with the most elite basketball players in Canada and the United States. This year, one of Wesleyan’s own University of Connecticut signee, Mikayla Coombs was chosen to be a part of this elite team. Coombs has been at Wesleyan since seventh grade and has played basketball since.
After tearing her ACL her sophomore year, Coombs has only been able to play at the Varsity level for three years. In addition to signing a national letter of intent to attend the University of Connecticut earlier this year, she was also named Gatorade Player of the Year. She has earned several awards throughout her time at Wesleyan, but the McDonald’s All-American game has been one of the biggest awards she has received. The University of Connecticut is the #1 school in the nation for girls’ basketball.
Wesleyan Coach Jan Azar said this is the first McDonald’s All-American she has ever coached. It is a very big honor that very few people are awarded.
Coach Jan Azar said, “We are really excited for Mikayla to play in the McDonald’s All-American game. Her 7 senior teammates will be making the trip to Chicago to support her which is really cool. I think it shows what a great teammate Mikayla has been during her time at Wesleyan. Mikayla is a great basketball player but an even better person!”
When Coombs first heard that she was invited to play in the game, she said, “I have always dreamed of being a McDonald’s All-American and I was really excited once I saw my name on the list. I am very thankful to have been chosen with so many great players in my class.”
She is loved by all of her teammates and Senior Natalie Armstrong said, “I think it is cool that we get to have Mikayla as a teammate that not only is very successful but is very humble. It’s amazing that we all get to be so close to a superstar.”
Coombs is joined on her All-American team by one of her future UConn teammates, Megan Walker. The team also has four University of Tennessee signees.
Since being chosen for the team, there has been an awards ceremony at Wesleyan for her. The McDonald’s crew came to Wesleyan and awarded her with a jersey and she gave a speech. In her speech, she thanked God and her coaches for helping her be as successful as she is today.
Coombs is one of the most talented basketball players ever to come through Wesleyan and is loved by all of her teammates. Coombs is one of eight seniors on the girls’ basketball team this year and the team is extremely close-knit. The girls are so close that the seven other seniors on the team are travelling to Chicago to watch her game, instead of just watching it on ESPN.
The girls were able to attend the game and cheer Coombs on as she led her team to victory.
Before the games, there was a dunk contest for any of the players who wanted to enter. Georgia’s own Collin Sexton from Pebblebrook High School was the winner of the dunk contest and wowed the crowd with his incredible dunks.
The 24 girls were split up into two teams, the East and the West. Coombs was put on the East team, and she was able to lead her team to victory in overtime. After the West team being ahead the whole game, the East team was able to tie the game near the end to put the game into overtime. In overtime, the East team pulled ahead and the game ended in their victory.
After her time in Chicago, Coombs said that her favorite part of the trip was the Ronald McDonald house. Two days before the games, both the boys’ and girls’ teams were able to visit the Ronald McDonald house to play with the children there. Coombs said, “The Ronald McDonald house was fun because we were able to give back to kids who are struggling with different issues in their lives. They saw us come in and interact and make cookies with them. To see the smiles on their faces was truly a powerful moment.”