By Paul Lazdowski, Globe Correspondent
CHICAGO If the basketball careers of Roxbury native Wayne Selden and Haverhills Noah Vonleh extend beyond college and into the NBA, both players might want to consider choosing a team with close geographic proximity to Chicago.
Despite being on the losing end of Wednesday nights 36th annual McDonalds All-American game at the United Center a contest the West won, 110-99, over the East Selden and Vonleh appeared comfortable and at ease in their first-ever visits to the Windy City.
In 11 minutes of action, the 6-foot-9, 220-pound Vonleh scored 3 points and collected 6 rebounds. His point total could have been greater if he had converted more than 1 of 6 free throw attempts.
What Vonleh did exhibit, however, was a relentless motor on the glass, especially on the offensive end, where he snagged four boards. The New Hampton product also displayed an equally impressive handle one youd be more likely to find in a 6-foot point guard rather than someone of Vonlehs physical stature.
Undoubtedly, these attributes which had the Indiana faithful, scattered among the crowd of 15,818 excitedly gasping each time their prized recruit gobbled up a rebound and proceeded to push the ball up court.
Vonleh Interview Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aQZEVEbfw4&feature=youtu.be
As for Selden, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound combo guard started alongside top recruit Andrew Wiggins, and looked very much like the player who led his Tilton squad in scoring, rebounding and assists this past season.
Alternating between the point and two-guard positions, Selden played 18 minutes and poured in 13 points, including hitting 2-of-4 three-pointers, and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
There were times in the game when Selden was arguably the best player on the court. In particular, there was a stretch in which the East was trailing, 79-61, with just over 12 minutes remaining. On three-straight possessions, Selden drained a three-pointer, dished out an assist for a layup, and connected on a foul line extended jumper following a beautiful crossover, to cut the deficit to 11 points.
Selden interview Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz03qULP_x8
But the contributions of Massachusetts first twosome since 2000, when Holy Name's Neil Fingleton and Central Catholic's Scott Hazelton appeared at the McDonalds game, and the Commonwealths fourth overall with Randell Jackson (Winchendon) and Wayne Turner (Beaver Country Day) in 1995, and Travis Best (Springfield Central High) and Rick Brunson (Salem) in 1991 being the other two was not enough to elevate the East squad past the West.