Seton Catholic Karen Self

Seton Catholic girls basketball coach Karen Self has been named the head coach of the West team at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Houston on April 1.

Seton Catholic girls basketball coach Karen Self has been named the Girls West Coach for the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game.

Self was announced as the head coach Thursday afternoon.

“This is pretty much the coolest thing that has ever happened to me,” Self said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Self has led the Seton Catholic girls basketball program since 1992. Under her direction, the Sentinels have captured 10 state titles and have been runner-up five times. She’s also led Seton Catholic to 25 region championships.

This year, the Sentinels are seeking their seventh straight state-championship appearance. They’re currently 15-4 on the year and the top-ranked team according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s rankings.

In her 28 years leading Seton Catholic, Self has an overall record of 723-147.

“I can’t think of anyone else who is more deserving,” Seton Catholic Principal Victor Serna said in a press release. “Coach Self’s accolades speak for themselves, but the level of humility and passion she displays is what makes her one of the great ones.”

Self said she received a phone call from a McDonald’s committee member in early January telling her she had been chosen to coach the All-Star game.

The news came as a shock to Self, to say the least.

“I had no idea,” Self said. “I didn’t know I was under consideration or anything. I guess my name was just thrown into a hat and that’s it. It was the most unbelievable thing.”

Self’s trip to Houston in April won’t be her first time experiencing the McDonald’s All-American Game, but it will be her first as a coach.

She attended the games in 2005 with Seton Catholic alum Christina Wirth, who was selected to play during her time in high school. Wirth went on to become an All-American at Vanderbilt University before she was selected in the second round of the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever in 2009.  

Self was made aware of who she would be coaching during the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game, as the player rosters were also announced Thursday.

Self will be in charge of 12 of the top female players in the western United States. Nearly every girl on the West roster is committed to powerhouse Division I programs, including Oregon, Connecticut and Baylor.

Players were selected by a committee of basketball experts. More than 900 players from across the country were nominated to play in the game. Only 24 girls and 24 boys were selected.

Self said she will fly to Houston on March 28 but isn’t aware of what her schedule will entail in the remaining days leading up to the game. She does expect to take part in charity work at the local Ronald McDonald House in Houston, something she became familiar with in Phoenix this year as her team served dinner and helped set up for the McDonald House’s gala in November.

“Our team chooses a charity every year and it just so happens we chose the Ronald McDonald House this year,” Self said. “We’ve been bringing food to the families that are staying there. It feels like it will be a good culmination of the year because I know we will do something in Houston when we go.”

The McDonald’s All-American Game will take place on Wednesday, April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Games will be broadcasted live on ESPN2 and ESPN.

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or zalvira@timespublications.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira

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