2013 McDonald’s American Game Preview
Best of the best on one court…
April 2, 2013
The 36th annual McDonald’s All-American games activities kicked off Sunday with the players’ visit to the new Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville, where boys and girls players spent time with families.
This is definitely an event I’ve been mentally preparing myself for almost as if it were the opening tip of the NBA playoffs due to the level of players selected on one floor in the house Michael built at United Center.
Things get started with Chicago’s lovable son, Jabari Park, Player of the Year from Simeon, who just completed a 4-peat in the Illinois High School Association Title run. Mr. Parker is being recognized as one of the best out of Chicago since Derrick Rose, Ben Wilson, Tim Hardaway and Mark Aguirre.
Then you have what is now being called the “new Fab Five…” Kentucky Wildcats recruits. Coach John Calipari has six of the 25 players selected to participate on the boys roster will be playing ball for him in Kentucky this fall. No college has drawn this many McDonald’s All-Americans in a single class.
Kentucky-bound McDonald’s All-Americans in the ESPN rankings also include No. 3 Julius Randle, No. 5 Andrew Harrison, No. 6 James Young of Rochester (Mich.), No. 7 Aaron Harrison, No. 11 Dakari Johnson of Montverde (Fla.), and No. 18 Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (Calif.).
“It’s our way to start off our season for next year,” said Kentucky recruit Julius Randle, of Prestonwood Christian in Texas. “It’s good to hang out with everybody and get a good feel for each other, just have fun while we’re doing this.”
Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked the No. 3 recruit in the country by ESPN, had planned for a couple of weeks to make his college announcement on March 20. The day before he committed, Kentucky suffered a shocking 59-57 loss to Robert Morris in the NIT, ending a season in which it lost star Nerlens Noel to an ACL tear en route to a 21-12 record.
Randle’s announcement — spurred by his desire to win a national championship, he said — immediately turned the page and sparked debate about whether the Wildcats’ recruiting class could be considered the best in history.
“If you go by paper and rankings, maybe you can say (it’s the best class), but we haven’t done anything yet,” Randle said. “We have to prove ourselves.”
The recruits learned that watching Kentucky this season.
“They had a good amount of talent on their team. I guess they just couldn’t put it together at the right times,” Andrew Harrison said. “I feel like the team this year lacked a little bit of leadership. Coach (Calipari) told me he’s depending on me to bring that, so I’m definitely going to try to do that.”
McDonald’s All-American Andrew Wiggins, a 6-8 forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) and the nation’s top recruit, said Sunday he will decide by mid-May between Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State.
Click below to read recap….
Despite the neverending comparisons to Lebron James and Kevin Durant (for his quiet, yet relentless approach), Wiggins’ game is unique to only him, with his own true deficiency being he gets “bored” at times playing kids his own age, according to his high school coach Rob Fulford. Those not yet willing to sip the kool-aid on Wiggins should take a gander at this highlight mixtape.
While the game Wednesday night won’t make or break Wiggins, Parker, Randle or any high school senior suited up, calling the All-American Game a “stepping stone” is short-changing the power of the moment. Stages like this can and have accelerated the process of morphing phenoms into stars, and stars into walking, breathing brands.
Other McDonald’s All-Amercan Game Notes:
The rosters for the 2013 boys and girls McDonald’s All-American game can be found at http://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/aag/en/gamescenter/2013-Team.html.
The games will be played on April 3, in Chicago (Ill.) at the house Michael Jordan built (United Center), with the girls’ game starting at 6 p.m. CDT on ESPNU and boys’ game beginning at 8:30 p.m on ESPN.
– The selection of Taya Reimer to this year’s game made McDonald’s All-American history as she became half of the first father-daughter duo to be selected to the game. Her father, Ben Davis, was selected to the game in 1991.
– Duke and North Carolina each have three recruits playing in this year’s game while four other schools teams also have multiple selections. The other four teams with multiple selections are Notre Dame, Stanford, Kentucky and Tennessee.
– Kaela Davis, the number two-rated prospect by ESPN Hoopgurlz, missed a good chunk of her high school season to get treated for Meniere’s disease. Davis has battled the disease, which is an inner-ear disorder characterized by hearing loss and vertigo, since she was 11. Davis is expected to play in the McDonald’s game as well as for Georgia Tech next season.
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