There will be no McDonald’s All-American Game for a second consecutive year.
After canceling the prestigious event in 2020 due to COVID-19, McDonald’s made the decision to forego in-person games this year, instead choosing to honor the 2021 class through a virtual celebration.
In the process, the event announced over 700 girls and boys high school basketball players as nominees for the 44th annual McDonald’s All American Games teams.
“Today is a celebration of basketball – the game, its players and their journey to greatness – as McDonald’s announces that more that 700 girls and boys high school basketball players across the country are nominated for the 44th annual McDonald’s All American Games teams,” the event announced. “This year’s nominees are being recognized for the consistent hustle, grind and passion each have brought to the game of basketball over the course of their high school careers.
“In keeping with the storied tradition, the final team roster of 48 players will be named later this month. But, much like the senior year seasons of these athletes, commemorating these players, will look different this year due to COVID-19. McDonald’s made the difficult decision to forego in-person Games after consulting with health and safety experts and will honor the 2021 class through a virtual celebration. This decision was made in the interest of protecting the health and safety of student athletes, their families and event staff. However, being named a McDonald’s All American is about so much more than the game; it is a once in a lifetime achievement for high school seniors. McDonald’s is committed to giving the incredible student-athletes who are named to the final team the recognition they deserve for their accomplishments and dedication to the game of basketball. Despite the state of the 2021 Games, they are legends and will be All Americans for life. Details of the virtual celebration will be shared soon.”
“Even during an unprecedented year, we were so impressed seeing high school athletes continuing to celebrate the game we all love, while making an impact both on and off the court,” said Joe Wootten, McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman. “Recognizing that many of these student-athletes had their senior seasons altered or shortened, we wanted to honor them for their skill and dedication to the game of basketball. While we’re disappointed, we can’t hold an in-person Games this year, that does not take away from the accomplishments of this class and they will forever be a part of the legendary group of past and present McDonald’s All Americans.”
Among the 700-plus nominees are four future Kentucky Wildcats, with five-star forward Daimion Collins, four-star guard Nolan Hickman and four-star Bryce Hopkins representing UK on the Boys Team nomination list, along with four-star guard Jada Walker representing the Wildcats on the Girls Team nomination list.
McDonald’s will announce the final roster of 48 total players – 24 boys and 24 girls – later this month.