Posted On: 01/27/19 11:37 PM
Not a lot of players get nominated for the McDonald’s All American Game and even fewer are fortunate to actually make the final list of 24 participants. A handful of players from the Evergreen State have missed the final cut of 24. 2018 Kevin Porter Jr., 2011 Tony Wroten Jr. and many more had the resume and ranking, but still didn’t make the cut. Wroten went on to be a first round NBA Draft selection and Porter is expected to go in the first round according to multiple 2019 mock drafts. Washington suffered a five year drought from the All American Game between 2011-2016. In 2017, Washington was fortunate to have Michael Porter Jr. receive the honor in the 6 months he spent in the state. Zero homegrown kids in Washington have been McDonald’s All Americans since Josh Smith (Kentwood HS) in 2010. The true Washingtonian All-American drought is officially over! Jaden McDaniels’ time is now. He will be forever be in Washington’s elite history of players that have been chosen for the top All-Star game for high school players.
The 6’10 wing with true perimeter skills set the world on fire this spring and summer. Jaden catapulted himself from a national top 100 level player to a legitimate top 5 prospect. Although the come up seemed extremely quick to outsiders, Jaden had been working for this achievement for years. The 5-star wing started training with Cartiea French-Toney around his freshman year at about 6’4 and 160 pounds soaking wet. He was far from being considered the best player in Washington at the time. Cartiea had already been working with Jaden’s older brother, Jalen, now a star at San Diego State University, and Jaden started tagging along. Sitting down and talking with Cartiea about his progression is quite the story. As he puts it, “I’m always pressing anyone who I train.” He pushes his players extremely hard and Jaden just so happened to grow to love the grind and grow into a 6’10 frame. The unsigned senior has impressive length, versatility, guard skills and defensive impact with his fluid movements. One of the most overlooked parts of his game? His footwork. Jaden has spent a lot of time studying Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Jordan and other legends just trying to learn how they got to their spots and got their shot off. Jaden spent a month in California last summer training with Cartiea and working with pros like Kyle Kuzma. Everyday consisted of multiple workouts and spending literally every night watching film of former and current greats. Jaden’s come up is no surprise to those that really know him or his trainer. Scoring 51 points on senior night is the result when the work is relentless. The grind also includes the high school season for Jaden. 5am workouts on game days? That’s Jaden McDaniels at your local LA Fitness and he’s Washington’s McDonald’s All American in 2019.
Entire McDonald’s All American Roster: https://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/content/dam/aag/2019-boys-and-girls-rosters.pdf