2013 McDonald’s American Game Preview

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Best of the best on one court…

April 2, 2013


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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.

MEDIA DAY COVER
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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….

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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.

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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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2013 McDonald All-American Jam FEST

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Best of the Best showcasing their personal skills

April 1, 2013

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Everyone loves sports… more specific, there’s nothing better than sports at its purest at the “amateur” level. And Monday, the top high school girls and boys showcased their skills in the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game Powerade Jam Fest.

This “fest” included players skills, the 3-point contest, and of course, the Dunk contest. There was a star-studded panel of judges in the gym as well including Stephen A. Smith, Bo Jackson, local broadcaster, Valerie Warner, R&B Trevor Jackson, and more.  See the entire list at http://www.mcdepk.com/2013allamericangames/media/Jam_Fest_Judges_Release_032813.pdf 

The biggest dunk of the night belonged to Wiggins, who pulled off an eye-opening, between-the-legs reverse 360 dunk that sent legendary athlete and contest judge Bo Jackson—yes, that Bo Jackson—jumping out of his seat and bowing down.

And this years’ edition lived up to ALL of the hype as the boys elevated styles of dunks that brought the fans to their feet a couple of times, and several girls nailed the long-ball with pure confidence.

Winners of the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Games JAMFEST (left to right): Nigel Williams-Goss, Kaela Davis, Chris Walker, Jessica Washington, and Demetrius Jackson from Chicago, April 1, 2013. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)

No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins threw down a perfect 10, but it was 6’9″ Florida Gators commit Chris Walker who stole the show and took home the hardware.

Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon also threw down impressive dunks.

Andrew Wiggins Throws Down Inhuman Jam(caption provided by kentuckysportsradio.com)

Andrew Wiggins Throws Down Inhuman Jam
(caption provided by kentuckysportsradio.com)

Wanna see Wiggins throw it down? Here’s video evidence -> http://t.co/eE1wQVG3X4

If you’re not impressed with those slams, you probably didn’t watch closely enough.

Click here to see ALL of the results from JamFest.

****McDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN GAME****

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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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2012 Illinois vs Auburn

Posted on December 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Fighting Illini defeat SEC’s Auburn Tigers…..

December 29, 2012

FINAL: Illinois 81, Auburn 79.

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The 12th-ranked Illinois team gets back on track snagging a victory today against SEC’s Auburn Tigers at the world-famous United Center.

Sophomore Tracy Abrams leads all players with 27 and 8 rebounds. What a difference a year makes? In last years’ contest here at the United Center, he didn’t have any points but this year, he’s hot 4-7 from the floor, 2-3 from behind the arc, and perfect at the charity stripe 6-6.

“I was pushing the ball more than I did in any other game of the season,” Abrams said. “We’ve been pushing the ball lately in practice. I wanted to start the game like that.”

His teammate, Brandon Paul added 13 to seal the deal.

“We have a lot more weapons and a lot more confidence,” said Paul after the game.

Auburn is led by the play of Frankie Sullivan who knocked down 18. One stat the Tigers dominate with in the first half was boards 20-12, of which they are beating Illini 8-3 on offensive grabs.

So, can the Illini hold off the stingy Tigers and get their first victory here at the United Center in their last three games? Stay tune….

The Fighting Illini come into this contest tied for tops in the nation with 9.8 3-pointers per game, and with leading scorer Brandon Paul (19.2) are focused to get back to their style of play and become more efficient from beyond the arc.

“We just have to get a little better with the execution stuff,” coach John Groce said.

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On the other side of the court, Auburn comes in 5-6 record, of which their last four games against Grambling, Furman, Tennessee Tech and Winthrop, limited them to a combined 17 of 83 (20.5 percent) from 3-point range in winning three of their last four.

“Illinois is a very talented team coming off a tough loss to Missouri,” Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. “The entire team is capable of making 3-point shots and can go off.”

Guard Frankie Sullivan, the team’s scoring leader (16.9), will try to build off a 22-point effort after nearly leading the Tigers to a comeback victory from 16 down.

“It is very exciting,” said Sullivan of playing the Illini. “We have an opportunity to put a good win on our resume. It is going to be a great challenge, and we will be up for the challenge.”

Chris Denson, another high-scoring guard, has given the team a boost after being academically ineligible the fall semester. The junior has averaged 17.0 points while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor in his first four games after finishing with 18 on 6 of 13 shooting against the Eagles.

This is the last non-Big Ten contest for Illinois before they open up conference play at Purdue on Jan. 2.

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FUN FACTS

Illinois defeated Auburn in the only other meeting between the teams, 107-103 in overtime in the championship game of the Illini Classic on Dec. 12, 1987.

While the Illini have dropped three straight and five of six at the United Center, the Tigers have lost eight straight overall against ranked opponents.

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2012 Boys McDonald’s All-American Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Boys Best of the Best

March 28 2012

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In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Boys basketball, things got started with a fast-pace featuring top-ranked Shabazz Muhammad, who scored 9 of the teams opening 11 points, including a 3-pointer and a monster dunk that brought everyone to the feet.

In the end, it was the West that was on top 106-102.

The West stretched their lead out even more in the second half to 80-56 with 11:50 left to play. The East battled back and got the game within 4 points with 4.1 left to play in regulation, but the clock ran out on them.

Muhammad of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, NV (West) led all players with 21 points, followed by teammate Rasheed Sulaimon who added 18. On the other side of the ball, Alex Poythress, Kentucky-recruit, knocked down 19, 11 of which came in the first half.

Seeing 6’6″ Muhammad live for the first time, he’s is explosive in the open-court and never shy to attack the rim either. In addition to that, his size and strength makes him a force on the court at a couple of positions. Muhammad is scheduled to make his college decision next month and is considering Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UNLV and UCLA.

Muhammad was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), as well as MVP of the game.

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Shaq O’Neal, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

Be sure to bookmark our site, as well as follow us on Twitter at @ASNN365 (like us also on Facebook – @ASNN365).

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2012 McDonald’s All-American Girls Basketball Game

Posted on March 28, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Girls Best of the Best

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March 28 2012

In the 2012 McDonald’s All-American game featuring the best of the best in Girls basketball, it was the East on top,79-78, behind the fine play of Alexis Prince who knocked down a team high of 15, followed by Brittney Holmes who added 13. The game ended with a little controversy due to a late foul being called on Katie Collier of Seattle Christian as the buzzer sounded. The foul put Bashaara Graves on the charity stripe, where she knocked down the first shot and missed the second on purpose. This would have been the first ever overtime Girls’ All-American game.

“I thought it was a foul,” said Graves, a Tennessee-recruit, who had seven points and 10 rebounds. “But I was surprised that it was called. It was kind of iffy.”

One could assume since the game was televised, girls game is on ESPN2 and the boys game is on ESPN, overtime would possibly push back the boys broadcast, considered they are the bigger draw.

“I didn’t want it (the game) to end,” Graves said with a big smile. “But it was more important to get the win so…”

Teammate Prince shared the same view of the conclusion of the game. “I wanted to keep playing especially with the best of the best.” Prince is headed to top-ranked Baylor in the fall.

The West were led by Nirra Fields, who finished with 20. Ms. Fields became the first Canadian-born girls’ player to participate in the McDonald’s All-American game. After the game, she shared with us that “I’m just pleased to play here. This was my goal and I wanted this to be an all American.” Fields will be playing ball next year at UCLA.
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Local All-American Morgan Tuck (UConn), out of Bolingbrook, added 18 points, 3 boards in 23 minutes of play. “It was fun to play on the same court as Michael Jordan and now Derrick Rose,” she shared with us after the game. ”

The East jumped out to as much as 16 point lead in the first period (7:36) including an 11-0 run to start the game, but the West slowly picked away at the lead and got it down to six with less than a minute left to play in the first half, but Syracuse-bound Brittney Sykes, knocked down two of the last baskets to closed out the half (40-31).

The West squad never led and trailed 11-0 early on, they stayed with the East for the entire second half. In the second half, the West was able to tie the game on two separate occasions with the inside play of 6’2″ Tuck, once at 50 and another at 78 with 16 seconds left in regulation, but each time they made their run, Breanna Stewart (UConn) was able to stop them by knocking down shots including 7 of the 8 remaining points.

“This was one of the better played all-star games I’ve seen,” said East coach Anne Long of Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.). “There was a lot of unselfish play.”

Ms. Stewart was name Morgan Wootten Award winner (Player of the Year), and Ms. Prince was named MVP of the game.

As for the other Chicago girls, Janee Thompson, Kentucky-recruit, had 7 points and 2 steals including one 3-pointer; Jewel Loyd finished with 4 points and 8 boards – next stop for her, Notre Dame.
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“We are blessed to play this game and be able to give back like this through the Ronald McDonald game,” Loyd shared after the game. “Right now I’m looking forward to playing with Notre Dame next year. I will be cheering for them in the Final Four game (this weekend in Denver).” In fact, a few of the girls are making a trip to see the game live including Loyd.

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With the 40 year anniversary of Title IX coming, coach Long shared her thoughts “we should be blessed with where we have come from an build on it. The pioneers put us in the right track and we are simply following their paths.”

The McDonald games began in 1977 when they selected the best high school basketball players in the country. This team competed against the best players from the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. The following year, McDonald’s launched its very own all-star high school game that was played in Philadelphia at the classic Spectrum. Over the years, these games have featured Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, Ashley & Courtney Paris, and Maya Moore to name a few. Today, 35 years later, the games took place in Chicago at the United Center.

The McDonald’s All-American Basketball Game distinguishes itself from other all-star games by raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), with proceeds from every game going directly to local Chapters and their programs. For more information or to contribute visit RMHC.

Be sure to bookmark our site, as well as follow us on Twitter at @ASNN365 (like us also on Facebook – @ASNN365).

Amateur Sports News Network
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www.AmateurSports365.com

info@ASNN365.com

twitter.com/ASNN365
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