In the days leading up to the McDonald’s All American Games in Atlanta, USA TODAY High School Sports will be catching up with various players to talk about their experiences. In this entry, we talk to five-star girls basketball forward prospect Charli Collier.
The 6-foot-5 Crosby (Texas) native is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 power forward recruit and No. 2 overall prospect, per ESPN’s national rankings. She signed with Texas after originally committing to UConn before having a change of mind and choosing the Longhorns.
Being a McDonald’s All-American is an amazing achievement as a high school athlete. I’m really blessed to be in this position and playing with the best of the best.
It’s really awesome how much we have fun. Some of us don’t know each other and we’re getting to know each other. It’s a lot of fun. We went to the Ronald McDonald House and that emphasized how basketball is more than a game and shows us the impact we can have on people. It’s a good deal.
I’m really looking forward to just playing. The fans, there will be people from all different states. Being able to play for them, you’re playing in the Atlanta Hawks Arena, it’s on ESPN. I’m looking forward to just showing out.
I really like playing with Honesty Scott Grayson. She’s a really good guard with great court vision who is going to Baylor. A post always likes a good guard and you can feed off each other. I really enjoy playing with her.
It was hard to break the news to UConn. I don’t think Geno has anyone turn him down. He was kind of shocked. He told me like any other coach that he wishes me the best. He told me to do my best somewhere else. It wasn’t anything rude. He was kind and professional.
Texas was the right fit because of the education outside of the sport. The staff has known me since I was in seventh grade, they made a great connection with my family. I decided to stay home so my family could watch me play, and I hope to make a great impact as a freshman and make progress fast then go on and play in the WNBA.
I still have a lot of stuff to do after McDonald’s. I have Jordan Brand, then I go to Canada for Prentiss Beverly’s tournament, and then I have a couple all-star games for my high school. That all comes up in May 25, when I graduate. Prom is April 21. That’s very close. Then award shows and things like that.
I think for younger girls aspiring to be a McDonalds All-American, it takes more than hard work. You have to put your all into it, have to love this game. You have to let people know why you stand out on and off the court. You have to be a role model to lead for others who come after you. It’s all about leading.