words // Brandon Richard
In 1977, McDonald's officials handpicked the best high school basketball players in the country and named them to the first ever McDonald's All American Team. A year later, the fast food chain launched its own high school basketball showcase, the McDonald's All American Game, featuring top talent broken down into East and West squads. This was the first national high school basketball all-star game and was played in front of 13,000 fans at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.
Today, McDonald's is hosting its 36th Annual Boys Game and the 12th Annual Girls Game at the United Center in Chicago Illinois. To get you ready for the action, here's a list of ten facts about the game's history that you may find interesting.
The 2013 McDonald's All American Game tops off tonight at 9:30 p.m. EST on ESPN. Also stick with Sole Collector for much more McDonald's All American Game coverage from Chicago.
Including 2012, 839 boys have been selected to the McDonald's All American Games Final Team, coming from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Since the inception of the Girls Game, 264 girls have been selected to the Final Team, coming from 39 states and the District of Columbia.
9. Future MVPs
Seven McDonald's All American alumni have gone on to win a total of 16 NBA MVP Awards: Kobe Bryant (1), Kevin Garnett (1), LeBron James (3), Magic Johnson (3), Michael Jordan (6), Shaquille O'Neal (1) and Derrick Rose (1).
8. Most Prolific States
Since the Games were first established, California (83), New York (65), Illinois (60), Virginia (59) and Texas have produced the highest number of McDonald's All American boys. Other leading states include: Indiana – 40, Michigan – 38, Maryland – 37, Georgia – 35, New Jersey – 34, Florida – 28 and North Carolina – 26.
7. Prolific High Schools
Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, has produced more McDonald's All American boys than any other school with 28 participants. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Maryland (11), St. Anthony's, Jersey City, New Jersey (8), Paul Laurence Dunbar, Baltimore, Maryland (7), Roman Catholic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (6) and Mater Dei, Santa Ana, CA (6) follow.
6. Most Popular University
The University of North Carolina has been the top choice for 60 McDonald's All American boys. Check out the top destinations for All American boys.
5. Rookie of the Year
20 McDonald’s All Americans have been named NBA Rookie of the Year: Elton Brand, Vince Carter, Derrick Coleman, Kevin Durant, Tyreke Evans, Patrick Ewing, Blake Griffin, Grant Hill, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Larry Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jason Kidd, Mike Miller, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Ralph Sampson, Amare' Stoudemire and Chris Webber.
4. All Americans in the Olympic Games
In total, 38 McDonald’s All American boys alumni have participated in the Olympic Games, winning 39 Gold Medals (1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012) and 11 Bronze Medals (1988 and 2004).
2012: Carmelo Anthony; Kobe Bryant; Tyson Chandler; Anthony Davis; Kevin Durant; LeBron James; James Harden; Kevin Love; Chris Paul.
2008: Carmelo Anthony; Carlos Boozer; Chris Bosh; Kobe Bryant; Dwight Howard; LeBron James; Jason Kidd; Chris Paul; Tayshaun Prince.
2004: Carmelo Anthony; Mike Bibby; Carlos Boozer; LeBron James; Richard Jefferson; Stephon Marbury; Jermaine O’Neal; Amare Stoudemire.
2000: Shareef Abdur-Rahim; Vince Carter; Kevin Garnett; Allan Houston; Jason Kidd; Alonzo Mourning.
1996: Grant Hill; Shaquille O’Neal.
1992: Patrick Ewing; Magic Johnson; Michael Jordan; Christian Laettner; Chris Mullin.
1988: Danny Manning; J.R. Reid; Charles Smith.
1984: Patrick Ewing; Vern Fleming; Michael Jordan; Joe Kleine; Chris Mullin; Sam Perkins; Wayman Tisdale.
3. Top Picks
22 McDonald’s alumni have gone on to become the first selection in the NBA draft: Mark Aguirre, Elton Brand, Kwame Brown, Derrick Coleman, Brad Daugherty, Anthony Davis, Pervis Ellison, Patrick Ewing, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Larry Johnson, Magic Johnson, Danny Manning, Greg Oden, Shaquille O'Neal, Glenn Robinson, Derrick Rose, Ralph Sampson, Chris Webber and James Worthy.
2. March Madness
Looking for a barometer to determine the chances of a college basketball team winning the NCAA Championship? At least one McDonald's All American boy has been part of every title since 1979, with the exception of 2002 when the University of Maryland won the title without any McDonald's All American alumni. In 2003, the streak started again with a victory by Syracuse University. In all, 101 alumni have played a role in at least one NCAA title.
1. NBA Champions
Since the Games began, 63 McDonald’s All American alumni have contributed to NBA Titles. In all, they own a total of 98 NBA Championship rings.