LITTLE ROCK Little Rock Hall seniors Bobby Portis and Tyler Scaife have been selected to play in the McDonalds All-American Game on April 3 in Chicago.
It is the first time a male and female from Arkansas have been selected to play in the prestigious event in the same year. Portis, a 6-foot-10 forward, signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Arkansas last November, while Scaife, a guard, signed with Rutgers University.
Portis is averaging 20.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 blocked shots this season. Scaife is averaging 24 points, 3.8 rebounds and assists, and 3.1 steals per game. In addition to the McDonalds game, Portis will also play in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 12 in Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as the Nike Hoop Summit.
"This summer, I made a list of like, all the (all-star) games I wanted to play in and there were three games I wanted to play in," Portis said. "There's the McDonalds game, [the] Jordan game and the Nike Hoop Summit. And fortunately, I made all three of them, so that's pretty cool."
Both players were one of 48 total players — 24 boys, 24 girls — to be selected from across the country for the game.
Hall's girls are currently ranked No. 1 in Class 6A, while the Warriors' boys are ranked No. 2 in 6A.
"I'm just so ecstatic for Bobby and Tyler," Hall boys coach Jon Coleman said. "Because, the public, they don't understand how hard he works off the court. When we get through with practice, his practice is just beginning. So I'm just elated that he's receiving the attention and the awards that he is. Because he's very deserving."
Portis is the first Arkansas signee to be selected for the event since Al Jefferson in 2004. Jefferson never played for the Razorbacks after electing to go pro following his senior year of high school.
He joins a noteworthy list of Razorbacks to play in the event, including Corliss Williamson, Todd Day, Lee Mayberry, Derek Hood and Joe Kleine, among others.
"I’m excited for him," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "I think that’s great news. That just shows the direction we’re going. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program, and you’ve got to have players. We’re excited about he and (Moses) Kingsley both.
"I think it’s a great, great honor and i know he’ll go represent the state of Arkansas in a fine fashion."
Scaife, a 5-9 guard who is one of the leading scorers in the state at 28.9 points per game, said she is ready for the competition, adding she had a number of friends selected to play in the game as well.
Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.