The contest, which will take place at Chicago’s United Center April 3, features some of the best high school basketball seniors in the country. Shooting guard Matt Jones and small forwards Semi Ojeleye and Jabari Parker are three of roughly 400 players to be nominated today for the boys’ game and have a chance to play in the all-star event that will be televised on ESPN at 9:30pm (EST).
“This list of McDonald’s All American Games Nominees represents the finest prep talent in the country, and we are privileged to acknowledge them for their career success on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Morgan Wootten, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman, said. “Today we celebrate these young players, and we look forward to selecting the final team next month.”
None of the three Duke commits are “shoe-ins” since Parker has missed some time due to injury and neither Jones nor Ojeleye are consensus top-10 players. However, it seems likely that Parker will still make the game and that Jones and Ojeleye are toss-ups. Ojeleye is reportedly averaging over 40 points a game, in addition to over seven rebounds, and Jones has led his squad to multiple tournament championships like the HSOT Holiday Invitational.
“It feels great to be nominated,” Jones told Duke Report. “Just being able to say I have a possibility of playing in this game is a blessing and a dream come true. It would be an honor if I am chosen. It’s every high school player’s dream to make the McDonald’s All-American game!”
This year’s Blue Devil squad features five former McDonald’s All-Americans (Quinn Cook, Amile Jefferson, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon) and had two signees at the all-star event last year (Jefferson and Sulaimon). Duke has had a McDonald’s All-American every year for at least the past seven years and has had three players win the MVP (Bobby Hurley in 1989, J.J. Redick in 2002 and Josh McRoberts in 2005) in the history of the contest.
The final rosters for the games will be announced February 14 at 5pm on ESPNU. Players were nominated by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.