East Central (Texas) forward NaLyssa Smith received her honorary McDonald’s All American Game jersey at her school Monday.
Smith, of Converse, Texas, was honored as part of the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance.
“My first thought was just that I was very excited. I always dreamed of this and watched the game so when I was chosen it was a big step in my life,” Smith told USA TODAY. “The first time I watched the game was probably when Candice Parker was in the game. That was the first time, but I’ve watched it every year since.”
A 6-2 Baylor signee, Dixon is a five-star forward who is ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect in the country by ESPN. She’s ready to follow in the footsteps of past stars who have come from the Lone Star state and starred in the McDonald’s game, including some future conference foes like Sedona Prince.
In the meantime, she makes sure to clear her head by heading off to hit golf balls with her father whenever possible. She said she follows her father to any course he plays, where she flashes more of her funny and outgoing personality than is sometimes on display in public.
That’s not to say that Smith isn’t confident. In fact she has supreme confidence in her ability and her every day experience, part of which is standing out in the crowd at 6-foot-2.
“I love being the tallest person,” Smith said. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable or intimidating or anything. I’m always surprised when someone is taller than me, and I like being the tallest person around, so overall I like it a lot.”
Smith is ready to enjoy a unique experience in Atlanta this March as both McDonald’s All-American Games will be held March 28 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena for the first time.