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Buford All-American; 2nd City League player in McDonald s game

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Libbey s William Buford hoists the City League championship trophy following the Cowboys victory over St. John s at Savage Hall last week.

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Libbey basketball standout William Buford is one of the 24 high school players named last night to play in this year s McDonald s All-American game, the most prestigious national prep all-star basketball contest.

The Cowboys 6-foot-5 guard, who has signed to play at Ohio State University, will be a member of the East squad in the 32nd annual event, which is set for the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The McDonald s boys game will air live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. on March 26.

Buford is only the second Toledo player ever selected to the McDonald s All-American game, joining former Macomber, Ohio State and NBA star Jim Jackson, who competed in the 1989 game after leading his Macmen to a Division I state championship that year.

It s a very prestigious honor for him to be named to play in the game, veteran Libbey coach Leroy Bates said. Jim Jackson was the first and only from the City League. It s a tribute to William s hard work and the endless hours he put in in the summer playing with the D-1 Greyhounds [AAU team], being exposed to the various venues around the country, and performing well in those venues.

The Libbey star will be joined in this year s game by another OSU recruit, 7-foot-1 center B.J. Mullens of Ohio s Canal Winchester High School. Mullens will be a member of the West team.

Buford, the Northwest Ohio district player of the year and a first-team All-Ohio selection as a junior, is averaging 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game for the Cowboys, who were ranked No. 4 in the final Division II state poll. Libbey (18-2), which repeated its City League championship this year, begins D-II state tournament play with a sectional final Friday against Bryan at Anthony Wayne.

Having scored 1,892 career points as a four-year starter for Libbey, Buford is rated by ESPN as the No. 3 senior shooting guard in the country, and the No. 11 player overall nationally in the Class of 2008.

Contact Steve Junga at: sjunga@theblade.com or 419-724-6461.

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