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Nia Coffey will continue her basketball career at Northwestern next season where she hopes to major in engineering.

Nia Coffey will play her college basketball closer to the United Center than any other McDonald’s All American participant.

The Minnesota native’s decision to commit to Northwestern had as much to do with academics as it did with athletics.

“They are a great academic school,” Coffey, a 6-1 guard/forward, said. “I love the coaching staff and it is a beautiful campus. I just want to absolutely do my best and contribute to the team as much as I can. I’m thinking about majoring in engineering.”

Coffey started playing basketball around the sixth grade. She ran on her varsity track team as a seventh grader in a state meet.

“My brother and sister played basketball from the beginning,” Coffey said. “I ran track, and thought I might as well join them.”

Richard Coffey, Nia’s dad, played college basketball at the University of Minnesota from 1986-1990, followed by a brief stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Coffey said she takes parts of her game from her dad.

“He was very explosive,” Coffey said. “A good rebounder.”

Blake Griffin is Coffey’s favorite former McDonald’s All American because of his explosiveness — a term frequently used by the lefty slasher.

No matter how far basketball takes her, Coffey said she hopes her education at Northwestern will give her a good backup plan.

“I haven’t really decided how far I want to go with basketball,” Coffey said. “I want to keep both of my options open.”

Retweet a McDonald’s All-American story from the Official Season Pass Twitter handle, @season_pass for a chance to win two premium seats to the games.

In the coming days, Season Pass will feature student-athletes and coaches with local ties that will be participating in the McDonald’s All-American Games.

For the latest updates on the McDonald’s All-American Game, follow @McDAAG on Twitter.

Retweet a McDonald's All-American story from the Official Season Pass Twitter handle for a chance to win two premium seats to the games.

Retweet a McDonald's All-American story from the Official Season Pass Twitter handle for a chance to win two premium seats to the games.

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