Broward High Schools

McDonald's game provides perspective for Blanche Ely's DeVaughn

On most nights, three points, five rebounds and a block would be an average quarter for Blanche Ely 6-4 center Alicia DeVaughn.

A go-to player for most of her career, DeVaughn was content with a reduced role playing alongside the creme de la creme of high school girls' basketball at the McDonald’s All-American Girls game at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday night.

"It is was a privilege to get selected,'' DeVaughn said late Wednesday night. "I never played before such a large crowd and on such a big network like ESPN. Not everybody is able to become a McDonald's All-American like Candace Parker and Ivory Latta. It’s like you are part of that team now."

The East team could have used the typical 19 points, 21 rebounds and eight blocks DeVaughn averaged this season.

Instead, they surrendered a pivotal 21-6 run after the score was tied 16-16, played from behind the rest of the game, and lost 84-75 to the West.

Tennessee signee Meighan Simmons scored 21 points to lead the West and shared MOP (Most Outstanding Player) honors with Florida State-bound forward Natasha Howard, who had a team-high 20 points for the East.

After undergoing two ACL surgeries, DeVaughn rounded into form as a shot-blocking and rebounding force during her sophomore season at South Broward.

With DeVaughn providing an intimidating inside presence, the Bulldogs went on to win the Class 6A state title. Devaughn earned a second consecutive All-Broward first-team selection as a junior before transferring to Blanche Ely last Spring.

This past season DeVaughn was the focal point behind the Tigers’ run to the Region 4-5A semifinals, where they lost to eventual Class 5A state champion Fort Lauderdale Dillard.

DeVaughn is the centerpiece of a prized Maryland recruiting class that features five prospects ranked in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100.

Wearing the signature No. 44, which she will take to Maryland, DeVaughn entered the game midway through the first half.

Known for the graceful manner in which she moves around the court and the long wingspan that allows her to block shots without jumping, DeVaughn got a taste of how much more physical she will have to become on the college level.

"It had the atmosphere of a college basketball game,'' DeVaughn said. "Everybody is good and aggressive. I saw how big they were but I didn’t know how physical it would be. It was physical to the end."