McDonald's all american games

by Prez Ro 

Feel free to add share this article...

| More

CHICAGO - Every Spring, some of the top high school basketball players from around the country face off in one of the hottest all-star contest: the McDonald's All American game.  This game serves as a silver platter for fans' first national look at tomorrows NCAA stars and future NBA hopefuls.

Did we see future stars in the making? Of course we did... We may have seen multiple guys who will go on to be perennial All-Stars and greats on the higher levels.  This year, plenty of players answered questions and silenced doubts about their game, and proved to coaches, scouts, and fans that they can play.

Take a look at some action shots from the game by clicking below

Things got started first with the Girls having the opening tip. Duke signee and National Player of the Year Elizabeth Williams broke the McDonald's All-American Girls game scoring record with 23 points and 11 rebounds, won the 2011 MVP award, and helped lead the East team to a 78-66 victory.

"I really like big games. I like playing in the big games so I was excited, I was happy. The bigger, the better," said Williams.

Williams surpassed Alexis Hornbuckle's record of 22 points set in the 2004 McDonald's All-American game.

Chicago's very own (by way of Bolingbrook) Ariel Massengale (Tennessee) added 13 points for the East squad, who dominated from start to finish. Massengale knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half to lead the charge. "It was amazing. I was honored to have the game in my state and that I was chosen to participate this year," said Massengale.

The East squad didn't look like a newly assembled team, as they exhibited some crisp ball movement and teamwork throughout the game. 

The West team struggled early, falling behind after connecting on five of their first 20 shots. They closed the gap some in the second half as Briana Banks, who will play next season at UConn, scored most of her 16 points. The West never did appear to get in sync, with the East squad locking them down and forcing them into a lot of one-on-one play, which led to turnovers and easy baskets at the other end. 

Brianna Banks led the West with 17 points. Banks, a Connecticut signee, scored seven straight points to get the West within 12 points at 71-59 with 4:18 left.


Now for the Boys....
The West, led by Chicago's very-own Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Austin Rivers (Duke) and Branden Dawson (Michigan State) of Gary Lew Wallace, scored the first 13 points of the second half to erase its 57-44 halftime deficit.

In addition, a pair of North Carolina recruits, James McAdoo (the nephew of former NBA player Bob McAdoo) and P.J. Hairston, fueled a late run to help the East pull away in the final minutes. McAdoo and East teammate Brad Beal (Florida) tied for scoring honors with 17 points apiece to seal the victory, 111-96, over the West in front of a record-breaking crowd of 19,909 at the United Center.

Florida's commit Brad Beal also added 17 points for the East.

Davis finished with 14 points and four blocked shots for the West.

Austin Rivers played in front of father Doc Rivers who was seated courtside. Rivers, who will also be at Duke in the fall, scored 14 points for the West. Austin Rivers played in front of father Doc Rivers who was seated courtside. Rivers, who will also be at Duke in the fall, scored 14 points for the West.


So who impressed me?

Here are some highlights of players that stood out to us.

Mike Gilchrist and James McAdoo took home the co-MVP honors and for any player at any level, this is a fantastic compliment,

Ariel Massengale
All of this is one of the great careers in Illinois girls basketball history, not for flashy numbers but for her leadership of one of the most successful stretches of girls basketball this state has known.

The 5-foot-7 guard will leave the Bolingbrook Raiders better than when she started playing there (four state championship games and bringing home three state titles) and her next stop is Tennessee.  In addition, she concludes her high school career winning the 2011 Ms. Basketball of Illinois receiving 281 points.

"She's got that drive that makes her different," Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said. "It's called the 'It factor.' This is a kid that wants to be on top. That's something you can't coach. That's something that's been in her for a while."

Massengale handling the ball during the State finals - true point guard!

By age 7 or 8, Massengale knew all about Pat Summitt and by middle school, she started collecting Tennessee blankets, pillows, T-shirts and shorts. So, from here it was easy to see where she wanted to play college ball.
"She's just a true point guard, sees the floor really, really well," Summitt said. "I just think she's going to make a huge impact on our program because we really don't have what I would call a true point guard. I hope she's smiling because I know we are. I can't wait for her to get on the court. If we were starting today, she'd be my starting point guard. My mind's made up."

Pat Summitt watching Massengale against Young in the State semi final game (March 2011).

Ariel Massengale through the years
Freshman: 13.7 points, 2.1 assists for 4A runner-up.

Sophomore: 13.6 points, 4.8 assists for 4A champion.

Junior: 13.3 points, 5.3 assists for 4A champion.

Senior: 13.7 points, 6.3 assists for 4A champion

Elizabeth Williams
information courtesy of The Virginian-Pilot
Nearly eight years after her dad asked her if she wanted to try basketball during a short break during the soccer season, it has been reported by her first AAU coach, Milton Dunnington, that “she couldn’t even make a layup, but she was willing to put in some work.”

Williams athletic path veered from soccer to basketball when she was 10. Her father grew up playing soccer in his native Nigeria, and Elizabeth was an immediate standout in that sport.

Williams winning the MVP award

Williams devoted herself to becoming a basketball player and her parents – Alex, a gastroneurologist and Margaret, a nurse – encouraged her. Since age 11, Williams has worked out with trainer Nadine Domond, and each of her summers has included a heavy dose of games and practices.

“I just listened to the right people,” Williams said. “My parents always told me to work hard on and off the court, and I think if you have that mentality, it really helps you grow as an athlete.”

Williams, an honor roll student in Princess Anne’s challenging International Baccalaureate program, chose Duke as much for its academic reputation as for basketball. She plans to be a pre-med student.

On the court, Williams capped her high school career earlier this month with a second state title in three seasons. She averaged 18.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game as a senior.

After scoring 19 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in the state championship game, Williams was hoisted onto her teammates shoulders to celebrate.

“It was a mix of emotions,” Williams said of her final high school game. “It was just a great feeling coming off the court knowing you won a state championship. I was really proud that my hard work really paid off.”
Elizabeth Williams has left an indelible mark on South Hampton Roads girls basketball. In four varsity seasons at Princess Anne High School, she collected 1,628 points, 1,209 rebounds and 606 blocked shots. She led the Cavaliers to two Group AAA state championships – in 2009 and this past season – won two gold medals with USA Basketball and was named a McDonald’s All-American.

She has won a bevy of player-of-the-year honors, was an easy choice as the 2011 All-Tidewater Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Williams is the first repeat winner since Princess Anne’s Kim Rodgers in 2006 and ’07.

The most sought-after girls basketball recruit in South Hampton Roads history, Williams – a 6-foot-3 senior center – signed with Duke.

By Rainer Sabin
The Virginian-Pilot

Williams became the third South Hampton Roads girls basketball player in four years to play in the prestigious all-star game. She followed King’s Fork’s Sugar Rodgers (2009) and Norfolk Collegiate’s She’la White (2008), now at Georgetown and North Carolina, respectively.

Williams led Princess Anne High to two Group AAA state championships in her final three seasons.

Wayne Blackshear
information courtesy of
Blackshear once scored 56 points in one game and when he talks about it he exhibits reverence and astonishment.

“My coach said I need a big performance this year, to try to put me up there,” Blackshear said about his 56 point outburst.

“So I was just working out that whole week putting a lot of shots up, and that game I played, I got to the free throw line a lot, and I couldn’t miss, so I was really focused.”

Blackshear patterns his game after Carmelo Anthony, rumored to be going to the Nets today and next year will be taking his talents to Louisville, to ball for Rick Pitino. Blackshear talked about his decision:

“I based mine on the relationship with the coaches and even my teammates. You got to feel comfortable where you’re going. They showed me a lot of love when I went down there, so that was big to me,” Blackshear said.

He also talked about the honor of being selected for the prestigious all-star game.

“A lot of people don’t get picked for this. It just shows how much all the hard work paid off.”

Blackshear has a seven foot wingspan, speed and quickness that will make him dangerous in transition at the next level. According to the bottom line at his ESPN Recruiting Profile:

“Blackshear is a strong and physical small forward that can get to the rim and score pretty well inside the arc in addition to being excellent in transition. He is a very good athlete and as his jumper improves his scoring will as well. His body is college ready and his toughness and competitiveness is very evident.”

Despite injuring his left shoulder in practice, he elected to play in the 2011 McDonald's All-American game. Essentially playing one-handed, Blackshear scored two points on 1-for-3 shooting in about eight minutes of action. Davis had 14 points, six rebounds, four blocks and two steals in a losing effort as the East prevailed 111-96 at the United Center.

"It was a big deal for me, even if it was for just a few minutes," Blackshear said. "It was the first time I played on the United Center floor. It was my dream, and I feel blessed to be here. I was a little scared, but nothing major. It felt OK."

Anthony Davis
Davis, who started getting much more attention from colleges after a growth spurt a year ago, played in high school at Perspectives, a charter school in Chicago.

As reported by ESPN, Davis is one of the most versatile players in the 2011 class and has huge upside. He is a highly productive and coachable kid that fills up a box score while impacting the game in so many areas. Defensively he is a game changer as an elite shot blocker with an unreal wingspan and terrific timing, he rebounds balls in and out of his area and is always a threat to go highlight real on an offensive put back. He can defend multiple positions; as a former guard he understands how to guard the perimeter against quicker smaller opponents. He is highly ball handler and is an unselfish player that looks to create for teammates. Davis has improved his scoring moves off the dribble. He can beat defenders attacking right or left. He plays with great toughness and can be impossible to match up with on the high school level.

After growing seven inches in a year, there is no doubt that Davis needs time to put on weight and develop his body to take the pounding at the collegiate level. He also needs to continue to develop a consistently dominant disposition, he is still learning what he is capable of; experience is going to play a big factor in his development as he is new on the scene as a top level player and will need to learn how to respond when teams scout and game plan for him. With the target on his back his mental and physical toughness will be challenged.

Bottom Line:
NNo one in the 2011 class has elevated their game like Davis. He has gone from a relative unknown to being considered one of the top if not the top prospect in the country. He possesses a refreshingly untainted outlook because he has not been coddled since a young age and should have a tremendous future as a future Wildcat.

The Kentucky-bound Davis gave the throng of scouts on hand a glimpse of the all-around ability that has him projected to be the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA draft by

In the 2011 McDonald's All-American game, he made his first five shots, including a tomahawk jam in the early going, and there wasn't a more active big man on the defensive end.

"It was excellent to play in front of my hometown," Davis said. "With Wayne not playing, only playing eight minutes, I put a lot of pressure on myself to step up and represent Chicago."

Austin Rivers
Rivers played his high school ball for Winter Park High School. He is now recognized as one of the top rated basketball players in the class of 2011 despite having an NBA player/coach as a father, Doc Rivers.

Rivers led Winter Park to the school's first state title in a 76-57 win against Dr. Phillips High School in the 6A state championship. Rivers scored 23 points in the game. In June 2010, Rivers was a part of the gold medal winning team at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. He set a team USA record for an U18 event with 35 points against Canada. On August 5, 2010, Rivers was named to the 5th annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 game, where he was named co-MVP. He had 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. On March 5, 2011, Rivers led Winter Park to back to back Florida 6A state championships with a 52-44 victory over Dr. Phillips High School. He had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals in his final high school game.

Rivers was named the 2011 Naismith Prep Player of the Year on March 10, 2011.

In the summer of 2008, he was entering his sophomore year in high school and Rivers committed to the University of Florida, but since then he decided to withdraw the committal and open his recruitment again. Rivers will play his college ball at Duke beginning fall of 2011.

According to ESPN, Rivers calling card as he both wants and demands the ball in pressure situations. He is a cold-blooded assassin that has the full package of offensive weapons at his disposal and plays without fear of failure. He has range out to 28-feet, uses the jab-step as well as seasoned pros, an excellent mid-range game, can finish through contact when attacking the basket and has the best NBA-level floater over the bigs of any player in the high school or college ranks. Austin is moving better without the ball. He also does a great job being patient and handling double teams and being denied. Seems to trust his teammates more than before and has done a better job picking his scoring spots which helps his shooting percentage, but still understands when it is time to take over.

One definite area of needed improvement that sticks out about Rivers is that not only does he love going to his right the majority of times he has the ball, but if forced to his left he does not attack with the same aggressiveness.
When played to his left he is reduced to relying on a one-or-two dribble step-back jumper for the majority of his offense. Needs to play in a stance on defense more often especially away from the ball and not hop around looking for a steal. Gambles at times too much.

Bottom Line:
Rivers is arguably the most prolific offensive player in the 2011 class. He is fearless attacking any type of defense and has the ability to go on some amazing runs when he gets heated up. His advanced skill level and competitive drive set him apart from his peers as he seems to thrive when most others wilt with the game is on the line.

Travel Team: Team STAT (Each One Teach One)...Committed to Florida after his freshman year (July, 2008)...Averaged 14.0 points and 3.0 assists as a freshman...Wingspan: 79"...Officially decommitted from Florida in April, 2010...Committed to Duke in Sept. 2010...2011 McDonald's All American...2011 Jordan Brand All American...Averaged 28.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 apg and 2.0 steals as a senior...2011 Naismith Player of the Year...2011 Wooten Player of the Year...2011 Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida...

- Michigan St. recruit Branden Dawson has been heavily hyped as an offensive rebounding monster, and naturally the first time he touched the ball was on an offensive rebounded and put-back for a score. The claim is that he is under-sized for a forward, but he certainly did not look undersized in the post in this game. If Purdue could play a 6’5” player in the post most of last season, Michigan St. should have no trouble using Branden Dawson there, particularly if he is this strong.

- We also learned that Duke recruit Marshall Plumlee’s hidden talent is “shrimping”. Hey, if you have to list something, it beats “singing”. If you list “singing” someone might ask you to sing. No one can ask you to show off your “shrimping” ability.

- PJ Hairston of North Carolina can shoot. Assuming he doesn’t start the season stone cold like Harrison Barnes, he will be a much needed perimeter option for the Tar Heels next year.

- Ohio St. recruit Shannon Scott had a quiet night, but he still impressed me with his hustle, grabbing at least five steals in the game.

Take a look at some action shots from the game by clicking below

Game's History
The McDonald's All-American Game refers to each of the all-star basketball games played each year for boys' and girls' high-school basketball graduates. Consisting of the top American and Canadian players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam-dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed-skills competition. The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.

The McDonald's All-American designation actually began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an All-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington D.C. area.[1] The following year, the McDonald's game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.

The McDonald's All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald's All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada. Selected athletes often go on to success in college basketball. Every college team to win the NCAA men's championship since 1978 has had at least one McDonalds All-American on its roster, except for the 2002 Maryland Terrapins.[2]

The teams are sponsored by McDonald's, the fast-food chain. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC®) and their Ronald McDonald House® programs.

Selection Process
The initial list of potential names is gathered by Sports America, Inc., which has worked with McDonald’s in connection with the McDonald’s All American Game since it was founded in 1978. Names are submitted by members of the Selection Committee as well as state representatives who religiously follow the prep scene in their areas. In addition, Sports America subscribes to every major basketball publication and is read very carefully by its staff to ensure that some deserving players are not overlooked. Many rising seniors make this list based on an excellent junior year or for having an outstanding summer participating in summer camps and AAU tournaments. There is no set number of how many players can be nominated throughout the country. Traditionally, the final total is between 1,500 to 1,800 for boys and 900 to 1,200 for girls. For more click here.

And guess what? I'm lovin' it. See you guys next year and I hope you return to Chicago!!!!

NOTE: We are proud to announce that for the entire month of March, S.C. Fitch Enterprises, and all of its affiliates including Amateur Sports News Network,, and Amateur Sports Gallery will be honoring March as National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Click here for more information.

Here is your opportunity to stop hating the media and actually become it!

We are always looking for additional personnel. Click here if you are interested. If you would like to submit a story, score, stats, or even photos, click here.