Girls finish 4th

Carthage’s Zee McGrue (10) puts up a short jumper as teammate Caroline Baldree (43) and a couple Huntington Lady Devils prepare for a possible rebound.

Zee McGrue hasn’t been on a plane before.

It appears her first trip flying the friendly skies could be a long one.

That’s because the former Carthage basketball star has been selected to play for a U.S. All-Star team that will tour Australia next summer.

“It’s an honor being from a small town,” McGrue said. “I’ll get a chance to experience another culture and visit a different culture. It will be my first time flying.

“The whole thing is amazing.”

Carthage Coach Michael Johnson said that being picked is a very big thing.

“That’s a top tier thing,” Johnson said of the tour. “It’s something special. It’s a testament to her hard work. She was not heavily recruited, but she’s getting what she deserved for this year. Going from little Carthage to Australia is pretty big.”

McGrue was the MVP of District 9-4A and the All-East Texas team. She was named first team All-State by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and the Texas Girls Coaches Association. She was also Academic All-State.

She has signed and will play this fall at Weatherford College.

“I’ll get more experience and more exposure,” said McGrue, who is scheduled to report to college on Aug. 20. “It will be good for me to play with and communicate with people I haven’t played with before.”

McGrue was first in the state last year and No. 2 in the country with 9.3 assists per game. Her 18-plus scoring average was top 10 in the state.

Clarendon College women’s basketball coach Mark James will coach the team that will play in Australia July 18-28 of next year.

“When he told me I had been picked for the team, I said ‘Yes sir,’ and told him what an honor it was to be selected,” she said. “The team is going to have good athletes who can play multiple positions. We’re only going to have 10 players.”

“She’s one of the hardest working kids I know,” Johnson said. “She’s in the gym or the weight room every day making herself a better player. I’ve been told she’s the best female athlete to come out of Carthage and I believe it.”