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Norcross' Hembree picked as head coach in McDonald's game

Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Norcross' coaches Jay Nebel and Angie Hembree celebrate with Shayla Cooper (32) and Diamond DeShields (22) after the Blue Devil's 63-42 victory over North Gwinnett during the Class AAAAAA state championship girls basketball game at the Macon Centreplex Saturday.

Photo by: Brendan Sullivan Norcross' coaches Jay Nebel and Angie Hembree celebrate with Shayla Cooper (32) and Diamond DeShields (22) after the Blue Devil's 63-42 victory over North Gwinnett during the Class AAAAAA state championship girls basketball game at the Macon Centreplex Saturday.

NORCROSS — Three of Angie Hembree’s former players appeared in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game. Now the veteran girls basketball coach has earned the honor as well.

Hembree will coach the East squad against the West in the annual showcase for top seniors, which will be played on April 2 at the United Center in Chicago.

There are no Georgia girls and boys players in this year’s game, but Hembree will have former assistant Jay Nebel and present aide Tamara Brooks with her on the bench.

Last season three girls from Georgia played in the McDonald’s event — two who had been coached by Hembree. Diamond DeShields of Norcross was joined by Buford’s Kaela Davis, who played with DeShields on a state tournament team as a freshman, and North Gwinnett’s Lexie Brown.

Hembree’s first McDonald’s All-American was former Connecticut great and present WNBA star Maya Moore, who won one of her three state titles at Collins Hill with Hembree as coach.

Hembree, who spent time as an assistant at the University of Miami between her stints at Collins Hill and Norcross, has a career record of 446-149.

She won three state titles at Collins Hill, once also runner-up, and won three state championships in the past four seasons at Norcross.