Coburn honored as McDonald’s All-American nominee

Since 1978, the McDonald’s All-American game has been a staple in high school basketball. The nation’s best seniors are selected through a rigourous process that includes several committee votes, narrowing down a list of roughly 1,500 athletes nationwide.
Today, New Albany honors one of its nominees for the boys squad, Tadarious Coburn. I recently wrote about the ‘Dawgs’ elite post player and his contribution to  Brad Gray’s program, but it was after that story that I learned of his nomination.
Coburn was one of 23 selected from Mississippi, with only Johnny O’Bryant of East Side High School in Cleveland making one of the final rosters. For what it’s worth, Coburn was nominated along with two members of the St. Stanislaus team the Bulldogs will face on Monday  in the 4A State Semifinals (Daniel Greives and Davon Hays). Also, only one other player from the north made the nomination list, Jaylon Moore of Olive Branch. Needless to say, Coburn is in elite company, despite only making it to the nomination process, enough to make his head coach proud.
“He’s worked hard and he’s played hard, doing everything I’ve asked him to do, working hard in both the weight room and on the court,” Gray said. “He’s done his best to earn the right to be a McDonald’s nominee, and I’m proud of him.”
Many have asked what gets a player nominated for a prestigious honor like this. I learned a lot myself about this process, and one thing that stood out was that the school has no doing in nominating a player for the team.
State representatives compile a list of nominees from the state, which is then sent to a selection committee, filled with coaches, media members, scouts and high school analysts.
From there the list is narrowed down until the East and West rosters are filled out.
What the state representatives look at is how the athlete performed their junior year, and for Coburn, he averaged 14.1 points per game while grabbing 219 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who made the playoffs in 2010.
Despite the fact he only made it as far as a state nominee, it is still an honor to be named among the best in the state, and he’s lived up to that this year, leading his team in points (17.1) and rebounds (8.8), topping his averages in 2010.
New Albany is proud to have a player recognized on this level, and this is a nice award for a kid who has helped lead his team to the State Tourament.
Coburn is one of many athletes in this 2011 class that are leaving their mark on Union County sports.