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Lawal, Moore picked for McDonald's All-American game

The rest of the country will find out today what Gani Lawal and Maya Moore have known for weeks.

They are McDonald's All-Americans.

ESPN will televise the announcements live tonight, but the McDonald's selection committee actually let the participants know a few weeks ago.

And these two particular participants couldn't be more excited.

"It means a lot to me," Lawal said. "There have been a lot of great players in this game. I'm just glad to be honored to take part in something so special.

"It's a great legacy to have. I feel really good about that and I'm very thankful."

Said Moore: "I'm so excited. Just to be in that atmosphere with all those great players and people, national television. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The two senior stars are just the second and third Gwinnett County players ever chosen to compete in the McDonald's All-Star games. South Gwinnett grad, and current Philadelphia 76ers guard, Louis Williams is the only other local product to be chosen for the game - he played in the event in 2005 in South Bend, Ind.

Heading into the selection process, Collins Hill's Moore was basically a slam dunk to be chosen. She is widely considered the best high school player in the country and more than one recruiting expert has called her the best girls high school basketball player ever.

If she hadn't been selected, there might have been a congressional investigation.

Lawal meanwhile wasn't nearly as automatic. The Norcross senior is ranked as the No. 28 senior in the country by Rivals.com. Since there are 24 players chosen to the game, he was right on the line as to whether he would be selected or not.

"I was really excited because I knew I was kind of on the bubble," Lawal said. "I was just hoping for the best."

Now Lawal and Moore can put their names in the history books with other McDonald's All-Americans, players like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Candace Parker and Courtney Paris.

"Growing up, always seeing it on TV, it's just exciting to be there," said Moore.

The McDonald's All-American games will be played on March 28 at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The girls' game will air live at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU, while the boys' game will follow at 8 p.m. and air live on ESPN.