The rosters for the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game were released on January 24 and the “In The Paint” Show broke it down in a special edition (Ep. 151) of its weekly podcast. The ITP crew goes hard on this year’s McDonald’s All-American selections. Was Bronny James deserving? The podcast also breaks down the first father-son-grandfather trio, the game in its early years vs. now, trends, snubs, the college choices, and the future of the game.
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McDonald’s All-American Game Notes & Tidbits
*The 2023 game is will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston, March 28 (9 pm ET, ESPN). The 2020 game was to be played at the same location, but was canceled because of COVID-19, as was the 2021 game.
*The first recognized team in 1977 had 15 players and actually played against the DMV team in the Capital Classic, which began in 1974. The actual East vs. West format began in 1978 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
*Every NCAA championship team since 1978 has had a McDonald’s All-American on its roster except three: 2002 Maryland, 2014 UConn, 2021 Baylor.
*Despite scoring 30 points and hitting the game-winning free throws in the 1981 McDonald’s All-American Game to give his East team a 96-95 victory, Michael Jordan was not named Game MVP for the Est. That honor went to DeMatha Catholic’s Adrian Branch, who went on to play at Maryland. It was the second major slight of Jordan’s high school career. The first one was not being named one of the top 500 seniors in the nation in the preseason Street & Smith’s Magazine Basketball Annual. Jordan’s mother Deloris was the one most upset with that.
*A majority of the teams that have finished No. 1 in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings or by the National Sports News Service before 1987-88 has had a McDonald’s All-American on the roster. The five mythical national championship teams that did not have a future McDonald’s All-American on its roster are: 2009-10 Yates (Houston, Texas), 1998-99 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), 1994-95 St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.), 1985-86 Camden (N.J.) and 1985 Spingarn (Washington, D.C.). Five other teams didn’t have a senior McDonald’s All-American, but had a future one as an underclassmen: 2010-11 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) with junior Kyle Anderson, 2004-05 Niagara Falls (N.Y.) with sophomore Johnny Flynn, 1999-00 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) with junior Tyson Chandler, 1995-96 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) with junior Anthony Perry and 1990-91 Simon Gratz (Philadelphia, Pa.) with sophomore Rasheed Wallace.
Programs with the Most McDonald’s All-Americans
35: Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of WIlson, Va.) 1980
14: Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), 2013
12: DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 1979
10: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 2009
10: IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.) 2017
9: Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) 2016
8: St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) 1984
7: Dunbar (Baltimore, Md.) 1983
7: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 1984
6: Camden (N.J.) 1981
6: Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1978
6: Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 1995
Note: Program listed by first year team member selected. Findlay Prep and St. Anthony are now closed. The only Oak Hill Academy McDonald’s All-American selection who wasn’t coached by recently retired coach Steve Smith was Glen Mayers in 1980.
*Bronny James is the fifth McDonald’s All-American from Sierra Canyon in the last four seasons.
*IMG Academy has produced all of its All-Americans selections since 2016-17 and is the first program to have three players selected in the same year, when the 2019 FAB 50 No. 1 team produced Armando Bacot Jr., Josh Green and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. IMG Academy then produced three players for a single game once again in 2022 with Jaden Bradley, Jarace Walker and Keyonte George. The 2020 FAB 50 title team at Montverde Academy also had three selections: Mr. Basketball USA Cade Cunningham, first five Elite All-American Scottie Barnes and forward Day’Ron Sharpe.
*The first pair of teammates selected to the McDonald’s All-American Game were Aaron Bain and George Lynch in 1989 at Flint Hill Prep (Roanoke, Va.).
*Since 2017, the teams that make up the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC), plus Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and now defunct Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) account for over 27 percent (46 of a possible 168) of all the MCDonald’s All-American selections. The high mark was 11 of the 24 in 2022.
*Milt Wagner (1981), Dujuan Wagner (2001) and D.J. Wagner (2023) is the first father-son-grandson combo to ever play in the game.
*In the 1981 game in Wichita, Kan., Milt went 4-of-12 from the field, 1-of-2 from the line for 9 points as his East team won 96-95. In the 2001 game at Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke, Dajuan went 7-of-15 from the field, 7-of-8 from the line for 25 points, but the West team won, 131-125.
*The Wagner trio all attended Camden (N.J.) High School and all three played for nationally ranked teams. Only one of the other father-son McDonald’s All-American duos attended the same high school (James Blackmon Sr. and Jr.). There have been eight other father-son duos and this year is the second time two sons of former McDonald’s All-Americans both play in the same game, joining James Blackmon Jr. and Justise Winslow in 2014.
*Bronny James (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth, Calif.) joins his father, LeBron James, who played in the 2003 game in Cleveland, approximately 40 miles from his high school St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio). James had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the East’s 122-107 victory in front of 18,728 at Gund Arena. James played in two other all-star games, helping to draw 19,678 to the Roundball Classic at the United Center in Chicago. He also played in the 2003 Capital Classic, where 18,424 saw the annual game at the MCI Center.
Other Father-Son McDAAG Duos (In Order Prior to 2023):
Doc Rivers, Proviso East (Maywood, Ill.) 1980 & Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.) 2011
James Blackmon Sr., Marion (Ind.) 1983 & James Blackmon Jr., Marion (Ind.) 2014
Ricky Winslow, Yates (Houston) 1983 & Justise Winslow, St. John’s (Houston) 2014
Rick Brunson, Salem (Mass.) 1991 & Jalen Brunson, Stevenson (Lincolnshire, Ill.) 2015
Charles Bannon Sr., Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) 1993 & Charles O’Bannon Jr., Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 2017
Lester Earl, Glen Oaks (Baton Rouge, La.) 1996 & Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 2019
Gary Springer, Ben Franklin (New York) 1980 & Jaden Springer, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 2020