Lexie Barrier has been making waves with the Ironton girls’ basketball team. Her four years of playing for the Lady Fighting Tigers have been memorable ones. She has been named an All-Ohio basketball player on two occasions, and has also signed on to play her college ball at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virgina. All of those accolades were recently joined by another for the standout basketball player for Ironton, as Barrier has been named as a McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team finalist.
Barrier has been selected as one of 750 finalists, and was presented a plaque by local McDonald’s franchisee, Steve Cielec, to commemorate her selection as a finalist.
“It’s truly an honor for our area to have her nominated,” Cielec said. “Throughout the country 750 girls are nominated and they’re selected through a committee of experts.”
Tens of thousands of applications are sent in, by hopefuls, for the McDonald’s All-American team, according to Cielec.
“For our area to have one of those players nominated is a true honor,” Cielec said.
Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers coach Doug Graham identified Barrier as a very humble player, yet very deserving to be named as a finalist in the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team.
“A lot of times you have somebody who is really good at whatever they do and they other things come in and influence how they act,” said Graham. “I don’t get that vibe from her (Barrier). My four years with her have been wonderful. She’s a team-first type of kid.”
Barrier will have a lasting impact on the Ironton girls’ basketball program, whether, or not, she is named to the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team, according to Graham.
“For her, it’s just a lot of gym hours,” said Graham. “For Ironton girls’ basketball, she’s kind of becoming the standard other girls will measure themselves to. That fourth grader, or that second grader, or that seventh grader, whoever it may be, they’ll look at Lexie Barrier and say, ‘she did this or she did that, and I want to beat that.’”
Further speaking to her team-first attitude, Barrier is still trying to focus on her team, even though she realizes the magnitude of being named a finalist.
“I realize what it means,” Barrier said. “If I get picked, it would be an honor, and a great opportunity and I would love it. But, I can’t keep my mind focused on it, because you don’t want to get let down. So, I just focus on the season and worry about basketball, and how we’re going to make it to Ohio State (the state basketball tournament site). That’s what I’m worried about.”
Jim Walker from the Ironton Tribune contributed to this report.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter, @MikeHamilton82.