Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the premier all-star game in high school basketball returns for the 2021-22 season.
The game, which previously featured future NBA and WNBA stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart, will come back in Chicago for the first time since 2017. The 2017 game, which showcased Michael Porter Jr., DeAndre Ayton, Trae Young, and Collin Sexton among its participants, was the seventh in a row in Chicago. The Windy City hosted the event from 2011-17, but a fight on the concourse between fans afterward marred the final game.
“No city has as much Games’ history, so it’s only right that we return to Chicago for our 45th anniversary,” said Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director of Cultural Engagement, McDonald’s USA. “It’s special to think about the impact the Games have had over all these years – whether it’s for the athletes, their local communities, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the families that are supported by the organization.”
Atlanta was named the host city for the 2018 and 2019 games, and Houston took the mantle for 2020 and 2021, but both were eventually canceled due to concerns about player safety. 2022 marks the 45th anniversary of the game. And while that’s the main attraction, the dunk contest and three-point shootout have produced some of the most memorable first looks at future stars. An astounding 70 percent of McDonald’s Game participants have made an NBA or WNBA roster since 2000.
Stars will be out at 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game
Because of the pandemic, fans missed a chance to see some of the sport’s biggest budding talents. That list includes: Emoni Bates, Jalen Duren, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, Paige Bueckers, and Azzi Fudd. But the 2022 McDonald’s All-American games rosters won’t be short on talent.
On3 National Basketball Analyst Joe Tipton expects to see the biggest names in high school basketball participating. That includes the Kentucky commit trio of Shaedon Sharpe, Chris Livingston and Skyy Clark. And Duke’s monster recruiting class headlined by Dereck Lively II, Dariq Whitehead and Kyle Filipowski will be well represented.
“The McDonald’s All-American game is the sole all-star game that every high schooler looks forward to,” Tipton added. “After two long years, everyone is thankful that it’s finally back.”