The Crusader Newspaper Group

21 to tryout for McDonald’s All American Games

Illinois’ top high school basketball talents have the opportunity to play against other great players from around the country at the 40th annual McDonald’s All American Games. McDonald’s recently announced this year’s list of Illinois nominated seniors – 12 boys and 8 girls – each vying for a chance to play in front of a home-state crowd March 29 at Chicago’s United Center. The final rosters of 24 boys and 24 girls from across the nation will be revealed at 9:30 p.m. CST Jan. 15 during the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show on ESPNU.

2007 Derrick Rose
DERRICK ROSE, WHO now plays for the New York Knicks, was a student at Simeon HS when he played in the 2007 McDonald’s All Star Game.

Players were nominated by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee. The 21 Illinois 2017 boy nominees are: Nana Akenten (Bolingbrook High School – Bolingbrook), Nojel Eastern (Evanston Township High School – Evanston), Evan Gilyard (Simeon Career Academy – Chicago), Jordan Goodwin (Althoff Catholic High School – Belleville), Temon Green (St. Rita of Cascia High School – Chicago), Paul Kingsley (St. Rita of Cascia High School – Chicago), Shawn “PJ” Pipes (Lemont High School – Lemont), Justin Smith (Adlai E. Stevenson High School – Lincolnshire), Jeremiah Tilmon (East St. Louis Senior High School – East St. Louis), Alonzo Verge Jr. (Thornton Township High School – Harvey), DaMonte Williams (Manual Academy – Peoria) and RaShaad Williams (St. Rita of Cascia High School – Chicago).

The 21 Illinois 2017 boy nominees are: Finess Dickson (Homewood-Flossmoor High School – Flossmoor), Cymone Goodrich (South Shore International College Preparatory High School – Chicago), Nadia Green (Homewood-Flossmoor High School – Flossmoor), Claire Gritt (John Hersey High School – Arlington Heights), Destiny Harden (Morgan Park High School – Chicago), Eva Rubin (Homewood-Flossmoor High School – Flossmoor), Karli Seay (Homewood-Flossmoor High School – Flossmoor), Jnaya Walker (Bolingbrook High School – Bolingbrook) and Jada Wright (Rich Township High School, East Campus – Park Forest).

The complete list of nominees is available at

Nationally, high school players from Texas received the most nominations this year (132), followed by California (76), Pennsylvania (32) and Maryland and Georgia (each with 30). In total, 729 players from 45 states and the District of Columbia were nominated by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.

“We’re proud to have 21 of Illinois’ top basketball stars nominated for this year’s games. Along with the other outstanding players, this group of young men and women are the best representation of high school basketball talent in the country,” said Morgan Wootten, Hall-of-Fame basketball coach and McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman. “We look forward to the fun but difficult task of narrowing down this list to the final 24 girls and 24 boys players later this week.”

BEFORE THE 2016 All American Game players get down to the business of playing basketball against one another. These players from all around the country have a little fun competing in the basketball-dunking contest.

The boys and girls rosters will be selected by the McDonald’s All American Games selection committee through a series of balloting system votes. Wootten leads the process and committee.

2017 McDonald’s All American Games Tickets

Tickets for the 2017 McDonald’s All American Games go on sale Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. CST via Ticketmaster or charge-by-phone at 1-866-909-GAME (4263). Ticket prices start as low as $10, and are also available in a popular family four-pack, which includes four tickets, four soft drinks and four hot dogs – all for $70. United Center parking is free the night of the Games.

Each year, the Games benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and its network of local Chapters. RMHC provides comfort and compassion to families with sick children so they are fully supported and able to be a part of their children’s care.

The 16th Annual McDonald’s All American Girls Game will tip off at 4 p.m. CST Wednesday, March 29. The 40th Annual Boys Game immediately follows at 6 p.m. CST.


Get in the Game by following the McDonald’s All American Games on Twitter and Instagram @McDAAG to receive up-to-date information and a behind-the-scenes look at the 2017 Games including; key announcements, local player/coach recognitions, fan giveaways and historical Games facts and figures.

About McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook


Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through its global network of over 290 Chapters in more than 63 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children’s programs worldwide, RMHC provides compassionate care and resources to children and families being served by leading hospitals worldwide. RMHC programs provide access to quality health care and enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their child’s care.

For more information, visit

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