A number of newspaper web sites, especially in the Midwest, paid a lot of attention on Tuesday to an announcement of nominees for the McDonald’s All-American Game for boys and girls basketball.
We checked the list and had many more questions so we didn’t mention it at all.
On the boys side, some obvious players, such as Stanley Johnson from Mater Dei of Santa Ana, were included. But for the girls it was strange. There were five players listed, for example, from Sacramento High but neither Gabby Green or Mikayla Cowling from St. Mary’s of Berkeley (two of the very best in our state) were listed.
We got the answer from a member of the McDonald’s game selection committee. It turns out that the list issued on Tuesday is only for those players who had nominations turned in. “Basically, anyone can nominate anyone,” the member said.
This also is why the McDonald’s list on Tuesday had many more nominees from a state like Iowa than California. So next year, if you are a coach with a pretty good player, take the time to send in a nominee. Maybe if the McDonald’s game is inundated with thousands of nominated players, officials will see the lunacy of having a national game with an unvetted list. Or maybe they want a list of thousands of players, but now we know that it’s not an honor in the traditional sense that a high school honor is arrived at — through at least some kind of evaluation.
According to the member of the selection committee, a second, more official and more vetted list of McDonald’s All-American nominees is still to be announced. When that one comes out, we’ll be glad to mention every player named.