By Hector Longo
---- — “Talk about an honor to be named to play in this game. Guys like LeBron, Kobe and Michael have all played in it,” said Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh.
Perhaps someday down the road, someone might alter that statement, making it “LeBron, Kobe, Michael and Noah.”
“It would be amazing to be included with names like that someday,” said an elated Vonleh, after the announcement last night that he was named a McDonald’s All-American. “I’ve got an awful lot of work to do to even think about that.”
The Indiana University recruit from the New Hampton School was one of 24 players named to play in the 36th annual McDonald’s All-American Game on April 3 at the United Center in Chicago. It will be televised on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. The announcement was made yesterday, although Vonleh found out two weeks ago but was sworn to secrecy.
“When I first decided to re-classify (from the junior class back to the Class of 2013), I talked with (Mass. Rivals AAU coach) Vin (Pastore) about the potential that I could make the game,” said Vonleh.
“Now that it’s happened, it’s just amazing.”
The McDonald’s game should be the highlight of an action-packed spring for Vonleh. In a couple weeks, he and New Hampton will be at Endicott College for the New England Prep championships.
“After that it’s back in the gym to work on my game,” said Vonleh. “One week after graduation, it’s off to Indiana where I will start in summer school. From there, I’m looking to make an immediate impact, hopefully a national title. And then maybe it’s the (2014) NBA Draft, or one of the next couple after that.”
The No. 8 rated senior in the nation by ESPNU, Vonleh continues to go places that only the rarest of rare on the local scene have visited.
The only other area boys basketball player to be named a McDonald’s All-American was Central Catholic’s Scott Hazelton, back in 2000.