April 3, 2014
Reynoldsburg's Rice savors McDonald's All-America experience
Over the past few years, the most sought-after recruit to come through central Ohio in girls basketball unquestionably was Reynoldsburg senior Alyssa Rice.
The 6-3 post player lived up to the hype this season, becoming the first girl from the program to earn ThisWeek Super 12 honors as she averaged 17.3 points. She closed her prep career as the school's all-time leader in points with more than 1,400.
In her biggest chance to showcase her abilities, she showed her defensive skills while helping the West all-stars beat the East 80-78 in the McDonald's All-American game April 2 in Chicago's United Center.
The University of Kentucky-signee started and got a blocked shot within the game's first five minutes. She finished with six points, two rebounds and four blocks in 20 minutes.
"It was ... great to meet all the players and get to know each other on a personal level," Rice said. "A win (April 2) was definitely a perfect way to end an amazing weekend and my high school basketball career."
Rice, who helped the Raiders go 96-11 over the past four seasons, was one of three players from Ohio competing in the game. Cincinnati Princeton's Kelsey Mitchell had seven points and Kettering Fairmont's Kathryn Westbeld scored two points for the East squad. Mitchell will play for Ohio State and Westbeld will play for Notre Dame.
While Rice enjoyed playing in the game, she said the highlight of the experience was going to a local Ronald McDonald House.
"This weekend has been one of the most memorable moments of my life," Rice said. "I am truly blessed to have been able to have had the opportunity to play in this prestigious event with the best players in the country. My favorite part of the whole weekend was going to the Ronald McDonald house and coloring, decorating cookies and just interacting with the kids. It was truly amazing to see how much joy us players brought to them despite their challenging situations."