Feb. 23, 2005
Incoming Notre Dame freshman Luke Zeller, who signed a national letter of intent in November of 2004, has been one of 24 players named to the 2005 McDonald's All-American Team. The 6-11, 245-pound power forward/center will play in the McDonald's All-American game at the Joyce Center on March 30, 2005. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. (EST).
The Washington, Ind., native was chosen to participate in this prestigious game, which showcases the top talent in the country. Selected from a pool of more than 2,500 nominees. Zeller will be a member of the West squad.
The McDonald's All-American game will be one of two all-star contests for Zeller. He recently was selected to play in the EA Roundball Classic in Chicago, Ill., on March 22.
A four-year starter, Zeller has led his Washington Hatchets to a 20-2 mark in 2004-05. He is averaging 20.0 points and 8.8 rebonds in his senior season while shooting 58.9 percent from the field (162-275) and 34.1 percent (15-44) from three-point range. Zeller owns a 74.1 percent accuracy from the free-throw line (100-135). He also has dished off 74 assists, blocked 43 shots and made 25 steals.
Earlier this season, Zeller broke the Washington school boys scoring record and has led his teams to a 70-18 record (.795) while at the school. One of the top players at his position in the country, he is an excellent student. Zeller owns a 4.00 grade point average and will graduate as his school's co-validictorian this spring. A candidate for Mr. Indiana Basketball honors, he was an all-state, all-sectional and all-conference honoree in his first thre seasons. As a junior, he averaged 19.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game as a junior.
Fourteen Notre Dame players have been named to the McDonald's All-American Team, including current Irish standouts Chris Thomas (2001) and Torin Francis (2002). The previous 12 honorees have been Tim Andree (1979), Ken Barlow (1982), LaPhonso Ellis (1988), Ryan Humphrey (1997), Tracy Jackson (1977), Tim Kempton (1982), Dan Miller (1998), John Paxson (1979), David Rivers (1984), Keith Robinson (1986), Tom Sluby (1980) and Barry Spencer (1980).
In five seasons, Irish head coach Mike Brey has had the opportunity to coach four McDonald's All-Americans -- Humphrey, Miller, Thomas and Francis.
"This is a terrific honor for Luke," Brey says. "It's a great accomplishment and a well-deserved culmination to an outstanding high school career. The fact that the game is being played at the Joyce Center will make it a very special evening for the fans in attendance who will have the opportunity to see this young man play for us during the next four years. We look forward to having Luke join our Notre Dame basketball family."
Joining Zeller on the West squad will be: Jon Brockman (Washington), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Micah Downs (Kansas), Byron Eaton (Oklahoma State), Monta Ellis (Mississippi State), Bobby Frasor (North Carolina), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Amir Johnson (Louisville), Calvin Miles (Texas), Martell Webster (Washington) and Julian Wright (Kansas).
Playing for the East team will be Korvotney Barber (Auburn), Eric Boateng (Duke), Andrew Bynum (Connecticut), Brandon Costner (North Carolina State), Eric Devendorf (Syracuse), Dann Green (North Carolina), Gerald Green (Oklahoma State), Richard Hendrix (Alabama), Josh McRoberts (Duke), Tasmin Mitchell (LSU), Greg Paulus (Duke) and Louis Williams (Georgia).
The proceeds from the McDonalds All American game help support the host city's local Ronald McDonald House charities and initiatives. Nearly $4 million has been raised for charity since the game's inception in 1978.
The McDonald's All American girl's game tips off at 5:30 p.m. (EST) on March 30th at the Joyce Center. In addition, players will participate in the PowerAde Jam Fest (a slam dunk and 3-point competition) at Bethel College on Monday, March 28th from 7-9:00 p.m. (EST). The PowerAde Jam Fest will air before the men's game on March 30th at 7:00 p.m. (EST) on ESPN.