2013 McDonald’s All-American Game
Girls and Boys… East meets West for braggin rights!!!
April 3, 2013
Playing in the 36th annual McDonald’s HS All American Game (McDAAG) is almost a golden ticket to super-stardom on the collegiate or professional level. Since 1977, legendary players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and more have all gotten their initial national exposure from playing in the McDonald’s Game.
There is no such thing as a sure thing in sports, but that hardly has us putting down our crystal balls in the form of amateur tournaments and all-star exhibitions. The McDAAG is no different, and has always been a chance to see the special young stars of today and daydreaming of where they will land just a few years from now.
The McDAAG is always about looking into the future, to see what these kids will do when they become men. In the case of Taya Reimer and Jabari Parker, Players of the Year, it’s safe to say that it will be all good things.
Indiana standout Taya Reimer, and Four-time Illinois state champion Jabari Parker hold up their McDonald’s All American jerseys accompanied by Joe Wootten, left, the son of Morgan Wootten, and Douglas Freeland, right, Director of McDonalds All American Games after being picked as the national prep basketball players of the year Monday, March 18, 2013, in Chicago. The award, named for legendary Maryland high school coach Morgan Wootten, is awarded annually to the top male and female McDonald’s All-American players. (caption provided by AP)[/caption]
GIRLS: West 74, East 55
Final high school game…. what a way to end this chapter, and prepare for the next…. Senior guard Linnae Harper stood in the middle of a huddle of McDonald’s Americans at the United Center and initiated the celebratory cry.
“Whose side? West Side!” as the West defeated the East 92-64 in the girls McDonald’s All-American game.
Harper, a Kentucky-recruit, did a lot for the players visiting Chicago, including giving a tour of the city and recommending places to eat, but on Wednesday night, she pushed the pace of the game and helped her team snag a big victory adding eight points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.
“Usually when I start the games, my first goal is to get a steal,” Harper said. “That brings intensity and energy to the game, and eventually that affected the team. We were just on a roll.”
At the half, the West led 45-35 and didn’t relinquish the comfortable lead. Harper directed a 7-0 second-half spurt in which she had a steal, two assists and a long jumper.
Also at halftime, Harper was given a different award, the Jack Daly Sportsmanship award, which she shared with Erica McCall and Kelsey Plum. It was a tribute, she said, to her desire to make sure her teammates enjoyed her city.
“I’m going around and showing them the best of Chicago because I would hope if I went to their state, they would give me the best of where they live at,” Harper said. “It’s all about giving back.”
“She did a great job coming out, anticipating, getting steals and buckets for us,” said West coach Anthony Smith, of Bolingbrook. “That’s the type of kid and player she is. It was great to see.”
Tennessee recruit, Mercedes Russell (Springfield, OR), was named the game’s MVP after finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the West.
North Carolina recruit Diamond DeShields led the East with 15 points and five rebounds, while Harper’s future Kentucky teammate, Makayla Epps, added 13 points.
High School Player of the Year Notre Dame recruits Taya Reimer (2 points, 3 blocks) and Lindsay Allen (4 points, 6 rebounds) teamed up for the losing side with Northwestern recruit Nia Coffey (2 points, 6 rebounds).
“I could have done a lot better personally, but it’s really not about individual stuff,” Allen said. “It’s playing together, having fun.”
NOTABLE PERFORMERS: West — Tyler Scaife, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists; Jordan Reynolds, 10 points, 11 rebounds. East — Diamond DeShields, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals; Makayla Epps, 13 points.
Harper’s, now famous pre-game meal of the chicken skin mixed with ranch and french dressing, continues to help her basketball performances now for the Lady Wildcats.
BOYS: West 110, East 99 Game
Talk about a stellar high school basketball career for Duke-recruit, Jabari Parker, from Chicago Simeon. And on Wednesday night, helped his All-American Squad (West), to a 110-99 victory over the East in front of his base-fans in Chicago at the United Center.
“It was the best experience so far,” Parker said. “Getting a chance to play in front of a lot of family. I saw a lot of my coaches out there, having Coach Mike coach me. A lot of people don’t know I was about to go to Mount Carmel if I didn’t go to Simeon.”
Matched against the number 1 ranked, undecided player, Andrew Wiggins, Parker immediately made his presence felt defensively. He had two quick blocked shots, including Wiggins’ first attempt from the perimeter. He managed to stay in front of Wiggins more often than not, but did commit five fouls in the process.
“It went pretty good,” Parker said. “He is super athletic so I had to over-commit on the drive, but he can shoot so it was kind of difficult. He is a great player.”
Parker didn’t have a problem getting his shot off on the other end, but getting the ball to drop was another matter. He was 4-for-13 shooting from the field and 2 of 2 from the line. Wiggins, on the other hand, was 6 of 10 and 7 of 8 for 19 points.
“Going against Jabari is the best going against the best,” Wiggins said. “I look forward to doing it in the future.”
Parker was asked if the evening was bittersweet because it was his final high school game. Parker replied “I think I have another game,” Parker said. “It is on the D.L. (down low) right now. It will surprise a lot of people.”
Parker finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
Arizona-bound forward Aaron Gordon, California’s Mr. Basketball, had 24 points and eight rebounds to claim MVP honors.
Attendance: 15,818 at the United Center.
FUN NOTE: Record number of fans who attended the 2011 game at the United Center in Chicago. Last year’s attendance, also at the United Center, was 16,308. The attendance for the 2013 game was 15,818.
Another successful McDonald’s All-American event and this clearly means the future of college hoops is in good hands!
JABARI PARKER CAREER
2010 National Freshman of the Year (ESPN HS)
2011 National Sophomore of the Year (ESPN HS)
2012 National Junior of the Year (ESPN HS & MaxPreps.com )
2011 USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year
2012 National Player of the Year (Gatorade)
2012 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)
2012 First team All-American (ESPN HS, SLAM, USA Today)
2013 All-American (Jordan, McD’s)
2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 IHSA state champion
2013 National Player of the Year (McD’s/Wootten)
2013 Statewide Player of the Year (Gatorade, Illinois Mr. Basketball)
****McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME****
The McDonald’s All-American Game consist of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.
The McDonald’s All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald’s game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.
The McDonald’s All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald’s All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada.
The teams are sponsored by McDonald’s, the fast-food chain. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their Ronald McDonald House programs.
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