Being named to the McDonald’s All-American team is about the highest honor a high basketball player can earn, and Queen Egbo of Travis High School has earned it.
Egbo is a 6-foot-3 post player who will be playing for Baylor University next year. Egbo is ranked as the nation’s number four post player and the 15th overall player in the class of 2018. She is averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, in leading Travis to a 25-7 record. Egbo is shooting 50 percent from the field and has 162 blocked shots.
Anyone wondering how a player gets to be a McDonald’s All-American, you just have to talk to her coach and teammates. Comments like “phenomenal work ethic,” “works really hard,” “constantly pushing herself,” and “working after practice” are frequently mentioned.
Coach Tanisha Ellison has coached Egbo the past two seasons.
“Queen has a phenomenal work ethic. She has a zest for wanting to learn more and to get better. Some athletes will peak at some point, but Queen seems to peak higher each year,” Ellison said. “Queen is a confident player. She has learned to shine in big time games. I think Queen has what it takes to play and be successful on the next level.”
Ugoeze Anene and Mackenzie Smith have played along side Egbo for four years at Travis.
“She is really outgoing and energetic. She always makes you laugh and she always pushes you to your limits. If I make a mistake she is there to tell me I can do better and forget about the mistake,” Anene said. “I knew she was going to be really good. She works hard and is constantly pushing herself, both before and after practice. I knew she set a goal to be a McDonald’s All-American several years ago, and she accomplished it.”
“She is definitely a character on the team. She may not show it on the court, but off the court she is a lot of fun. As freshmen I knew she would be a good player, but she has surpassed that. She has worked really hard to get where she is and done a great job,” Smith said. “She is always working after practice on her moves around the basket and she has stepped up and really improved each year. If she keeps putting in the effort she has the past four years, she will be even greater in the next four years.”
Being named a McDonald’s All-America was not a total surprise to Egbo.
“Being named a McDonald’s All-America was a goal of mine, but I wasn’t sure until they announced the team,” Egbo said.
Egbo began playing basketball in fifth grade but started getting serious about it in eighth grade.
“I used to play volleyball and run track in middle school, but I gave them up to focus on basketball. Basketball is more competitive, and I am a really competitive person. I could compete with other girls who were just as competitive as me,” Egbo said.
Egbo plays on an elite AAU team during the off-season. Chris Johnson, coach of the Cy Fair Premier team, recognized her talent immediately.
“The first time I saw her was after her freshman year, and I knew right away that she was going to be a great player,” Johnson said.
Johnson keeps his star player humble by going one-on-one with her.
“She hasn’t beat me yet, but that day is getting closer,” Johnson said.
“My AAU team really helped me grow as a person and a player. It taught me to take care of myself as a person and a player because everyone is always watching you. Everyone on the AAU team is the best player on their team,” Egbo said.
When it came to picking a college, Egbo selected Baylor over Florida State.
“Florida State was a close second, but I felt Baylor was a win-win situation. Baylor is a prestigious school, so I am going to get an excellent education,” Egbo said. “On the basketball court I will be pushed every single day. The Baylor players are going to make me better just by practicing with them every day. I just love Coach (Kim) Mulkey. She is just a real coach. She will be honest to me. I want her to tell me what I am doing wrong and what I need to do to improve. She is a great developmental coach. She makes players that aren’t that good into good players, and good players into even better players. I will get an opportunity to compete to play my freshman year, but I will need to really work hard.”
The McDonald’s All-America Game will be held March 28 in Atlanta.