Two future Wildcats named to McDonald's girls team

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s basketball signees Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky./Marion County HS) and Linnae Harper (Chicago/Whitney Young HS) have been selected to play in the prestigious 2013 McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game on Wednesday, April 3 in the United Center in Chicago. The game will feature the top 24 high school players around the country representing teams from the East and West and will be aired on ESPNU at 7 p.m. EST. The two UK signees will be going head-to-head as Epps will suit up for the East squad and Harper will play for the West.

This marks the fourth straight year Kentucky will have a signee play in the McDonald’s All-American game, but the first time in school history the Cats have had two signees receive the honor.

Epps and Harper will join five other fellow McDonald’s All-Americans on UK’s squad next season in freshman guard Janee Thompson (Chicago), sophomore guard Bria Goss (Indianapolis), redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) and junior forwards Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) and DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.).
Epps, a 5-foot-11 guard from Marion County High School in Lebanon, Ky., is rated as the 15th-best overall player by All-Star Girls Report and No. 21 by Blue Star Basketball. ESPN.com lists her as the 10th-best point guard and the 32nd-best senior in the country.

Earlier this season, Epps became the 21st player in Kentucky High School history and just the second player in Marion County to pass the 3,000-point mark in her career. She has led the Lady Knights to a top-10 national ranking and an undefeated 30-0 record so far this season. Epps chose Kentucky over Louisville.

Harper, is a 5-8 guard and is the nation's No. 5 prospect and No. 2 guard according to ESPN.com. She is the highest-ranked recruit in UK Hoops history. Harper, who recently was also named a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-American, chose Kentucky over Tennessee, Miami, Ohio State and UCLA.

Harper was named to the Tribune All-State first team last spring after averaging 18.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals for Class 4A champion Young (34-0). She had 30 points and 20 rebounds in two state tournament games as a junior. Harper has represented USA Basketball the last two years, winning gold medals with the U-17 and U-16 teams. She was named to the all-tournament team this past year after averaging 7.9 points and 4.3 steals off the bench. She also was named to the Preseason American Family Insurance All-USA Girls Basketball team by USA Today Sports. In December, Harper was one of six players named to the 2012-13 Naismith Girl’s High School Player of the Year Early Season Watch List.


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