How to watch two future Gamecocks play today in 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game
With the most of the attention is still on this year’s South Carolina women’s basketball team, Gamecock fans can get a glimpse of the future Tuesday night.
USC signees MiLaysia Fulwiley of Keenan High in Columbia and Tessa Johnson of St. Michael-Albertville High (Minnesota) will be playing in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Houston.
Fulwiley and Johnson are part of the Gamecocks’ four-player signee class during the early fall period along with Chloe Kitts and Sahnya Jah. Kitts enrolled in January and already has played in 17 games for the Gamecocks.
Fulwiley back after injury
Fulwiley is making her return to the court after her senior season was cut short because of injury. She suffered what she called a high-ankle sprain in the third round of the Class 2A Upper State playoffs. Keenan won that game but lost in the Upper State finals, denying the Raiders their sixth-straight championship appearance.
“I’m doing good. I’m doing real good,” Fulwiley said during media day interviews Monday. “I did physical therapy every day before I came here. I should be good. I’m not jumping as high as I used to, but I am getting there.”
Fulwilley was one of the most decorated players ever to come out of the Columbia area, scoring more than 3,000 points in her career. She is sure to be a hit with USC fans with her playmaking and highlight-reel shots and passes.
Fulwiley already has shined in the practices for the All-American game, with some of the highlights making the rounds on social media.
Johnson’s big senior season
Johnson is coming off a big senior season in which she helped St. Michael-Albertville to the Minnesota Class 4A championship and won the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year award. She scored 27 points in the 71-70 title game win over Hopkins and averaged 24.3 points, 6.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals as a senior.
The 5-foot-10 guard committed to USC in October and signed a month later. Johnson said the relationship she’s built with USC coach Dawn Staley was a big factor in her recruitment.
“Our first conversation I felt comfortable off the bat like I have known her since I grew up,” Johnson said. “I’m big with trust and I genuinely trust her with my future and taking me where I want to go.”
Building a bond
Despite being on opposite teams for the game, Fulwiley said she’s spent a lot of time with Johnson, and they’ve talked about what they hoped to accomplish with the Gamecocks when they arrive in Columbia next year.
USC will graduate a core of this year’s unbeaten squad, giving Fulwiley and Johnson the opportunity to compete for minutes early on in their career.
“We have talked a lot ever since we got here. We actually sent Dawn (Staley) a picture of us together,” Fulwiley said. “Tessa is a great person and we have been talking about things we are going to do next year.”
But before that, the two hope the Gamecocks can bring another championship home. South Carolina plays Iowa in the national semifinal on Friday and a win puts the Gamecocks in Sunday’s national championship game.
“They are going to win it all,” Johnson said.
How to watch McDonald’s All-American Game
What: 2023 McDonald’s Boys and Girls All-American games
When: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. (girls), 9 p.m. (boys)
TV/Stream: Girls game will be on ESPN2, with the boys on ESPN. Both games can be streamed on ESPN app or Watch ESPN.
If this is what Milaysia does in practice, imagine what she’ll do in the game. @McDAAG #ad #WhereHypeBecomesLegacy pic.twitter.com/HnaOWLbG5h
— WSLAM (@wslam) March 27, 2023