So what do you want to eat? Steak or ice cream? Lobster or chocolate cake?
Picking a high school All-American team is liking eating at a great restaurant with a 24-page menu — how do you choose? Players seldom go head to head, and stats are as much a product of competition as talent.
But we have to figure something out, so along with talent and potential, we go by high school production - not individual as much as team production. A girl who gets big numbers and is highly rated by college recruiters gets our attention, but a girl who does both of those and heads up a team that wins a state championship — or winds up in the Xcellent 25 — has a better chance to make one of our teams.
Another factor is injuries. Since we're trying to separate elite players, one way or another, the girl who plays every game gets the edge over the girl who missed 10.
Finally, we'd love to say that there is clear difference between second team and honorable mention, but let's be serious. Every player mentioned is a great high school player, and could just as easily be moved higher — or lower.
With all that in mind, here's to the best of the 2013-14 season, and to the future stars in college and the WNBA. We'll start with the nation's top coach. COACH OF THE YEARDan Rolfes, Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
In 14 years at IWA, Rolfes has won 368 games and this year won his second-straight Missouri title — and finished second in the Xcellent 25
. A case could be made that the Red Knights should have been first, as they split with No. 1 Blackman, but lost the second matchup.
Rolfes and Incarnate Word won't disappear next year, as plenty of talent returns — and it won't be long until Rolfes gets to celebrate win No. 400.
MaxPreps 2013-14 Girls Basketball All-AmericansFIRST TEAMPlayer of the Year
A'ja Wilson, Heathwood Hall Episcopal (Columbia, S.C.)
6-5 | Senior | Post
The smooth Wilson reminds some of WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, as her size and versatility allow her to handle the ball on the wing as well as post up smaller defenders. Wilson was steadfast that she wouldn't reveal her college choice until this spring, and she held her word until Wednesday, when she chose South Carolina in a televised press conference. See our Player of the Year feature story on WilsonJordin Canada, Windward (Los Angeles)
5-7 | Senior | Guard
Windward was the smallest school in terms of enrollment in the brutal Southern California Open Division, and Canada had to carry the load for a team that lacked the depth of most of its opponents. Still, Windward wound up No. 13 in the Xcellent 25, thanks to a point guard with unlimited potential.Napheesa Collier, Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
6-2 | Junior | Wing
Collier led Incarnate Word to the No. 2 spot in the Xcellent 25, and though her regular season stats — 24.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 2.4 blocks — were impressive, she took her game to another level in the postseason. In the final two games of the Missouri playoffs, she hit 21 of 25 shots from the field and was 10 of 10 from the free throw line as Incarnate Word coasted to the Class 5 title.Katie Lou Samuelson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
6-3 | Junior | Wing
Another player whose obvious comparison is the sweet-shooting Delle Donne, the third of the three Samuelson sisters (the first two are at Stanford) has tremendous range, a quick release and the toughness to absorb the constant pounding of a rugged schedule.Victoria Vivians, Scott Central (Forest, Miss.)
6-1 | Senior | Wing
As a junior, Vivians averaged 39.7 points per game against admittedly less-than-stellar opposition. But this year she upped that number to an incredible 46.2 ppg. In short, Vivians is a 6-1 scoring machine with plenty of athleticism, and she will be an immediate impact player for Mississippi State.