Started From The Valley: Macie James, Aari McDonald, Mykal Walker, Xavier Worthy, Jeremiah Hunter

By December 14, 2021Feature

FSM helps you stay up-to-date with the latest news about Central Valley natives around the country. Here is the latest from Macie James, Xavier Worthy, Jeremiah Hunter, Mykal Walker and Aari McDonald.

Macie James Shines In Her First Start At Oklahoma State

Former San Joaquin Memorial star Macie James made an impression in her first start at Oklahoma State. The freshman recorded 10 points and three steals in 31 minutes of play.

“It was pretty exciting, just hearing coach say he wants me to start. I just wanted to do everything for my team to help them win, so it was pretty exciting,” James told The O’Colly.

The rising hoop star is studying Applied Exercise Science. She plans to open up a sports complex in the future.

Central High Alum Xavier Worthy Earns Accolades At Texas

Fresno native Xavier Worthy has been named to Pro Football Focus’ 2021 All-True Freshman Team after a standout season with the Texas Longhorns. He was also recognized as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

According to PFF, the former Central High School standout was the Longhorns’ No. 2 recruit in the 2021 cycle and the 62nd-ranked player overall in the class.

“He’s a 6-foot-2, 160-pound speedster and turned into the go-to option for Longhorns in the second half of the season due to a depleted wide receiver room,” PFF stated. “Worthy was targeted on 30.4% of his routes from Week 6 on as a true freshman — the ninth-highest rate among Power Five wide receivers. He made the most of the substantial workload, racking up 2.88 yards per route run and 17 receptions of 15 or more yards in that span. In all, Worthy earned an 80.3 receiving grade for the season.”

Jeremiah Hunter Recognized For Strong Season At Cal

Another former Central High star, Jeremiah Hunter, concluded an outstanding season with the Cal Bears. The sophomore wide receiver was named to the PFF All Pac-12 Team. Hunter averaged 18.5 yards per reception in his sophomore year. That was second on the team and third in the Pac-12. He was also third on the team with 388 yards receiving on 21 catches.

Mykal Walker Stepping Up For The Atlanta Falcons

After welcoming his baby boy a few days earlier, Mykal Walker recorded his first NFL interception and touchdown on the same play on Sunday. According to Next Gen Stats, the Fresno State grad recorded a speed of 21.05 mph during the interception return against the Carolina Panthers, which is the fastest speed recorded in the last five years for a linebacker acting as a ball-carrier.

Aari McDonald Focused On Earning Master’s Degree

Fresno native Aari McDonald is hitting the books hard after an outstanding rookie season in the WNBA. The Atlanta Dream guard recently said she is inching closer to her master’s degree. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McDonald is pursuing a degree in applied behavior analysis at the University of Arizona.

McDonald was named to the All-WNBA Rookie Team. She led all first-year players in the league in 2021 with 59 assists and 25 steals. The Central Valley native also ranked second with 189 total points, 32 three-pointers made and 104 three-pointers attempted. Additionally, she set the Atlanta Dream record with 31 consecutive made free throws.

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