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Chelsey Lee: 'I will never forget this'

Caught up with Parkway Academy's Chelsey Lee, back in South Florida after spending some time in Milwaukee for the seventh annual girls' McDonald's All-American Game (won by the West on Wednesday).

She already missed it. A lot.

"It was most definitely an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life," was the first thing she said. "I will never forget this."

When she rattled off all the things she did, all the people she saw, it was easy to see why. Some highlights:

-Meeting the Doctor himself, Julius Erving, the day before Wednesday's game -- and wearing his championship rings. "I almost died right there," Lee said.

-Just being around 23 basketball players of such high caliber -- or, as Lee put it, "just being able to be in a room among people who are destined to be great."

-Being one of those players made Lee an instant (albeit short-lived, for now) star. "All the kids [were] wanting your autograph," Lee said. "You're not yet a celebrity, but everybody knows you're on that road."

-The nervousness Lee and her fellow All-Americans shared before the game, a feeling of "Can you believe all this? For Us?" she said. (How's that for humble?).

-Getting up close with four other Rutgers signees from around the nation, including co-MVPs Brooklyn Pope (Fort Worth, Texas) and Nikki Speed (Pasadena, Calif.), along with Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.) and April Sykes (Crawford, Miss.).

And they didn't just share time on the court -- even trying to decide who will room with whom next fall. "I'll probably just take Nikki," Lee said. "Me and Nikki were real cool." Stay tuned on that one.

-With the East down big at halftime -- after beating the West on Tuesday in a closed scrimmage -- Lee and her teammates tried to fire each other up in the locker room. Enter Alonzo Mourning. "When he walked in," Lee recalled, "we forgot everything we just said."

'Zo did end up giving a pep talk to the team. His biggest message: "No matter the outcome," Lee recounted, "you've got to be something special to have made it here."

--Patrick Dorsey

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