Posted On: 01/14/20 1:41 PM
The nomination list for the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game was released this morning and the confusion is once again swirling around as it seems to be the case every year. Many scouts, high school coaches, media, fans, parents and players are unaware of the process for nominating players for the McDonald’s All-American Game. For those that do understand the process, I have yet to speak with a single person that agrees with the current setup, which has caused a lot of outrage in the last decade.
Being nominated as a McDonald’s All-American was once seen as a huge honor for those fortunate enough to be in consideration for a selection. There was a vetting process state by state led by an individual who was very familiar with the scene. One nominator for the boys and one for the girls. Each person was heavily involved in the basketball scene for that state. For example, in 2008, PrepHoops’ own Jed Tai (then OregonPreps of Rivals) headed the boys side in Oregon and Carl Tinsley (End of Trail Tournaments) took the lead on the girls side. A strong list of deserving nominees would be compiled. The state’s top players were rarely overlooked and top 100 level players in the country were never overlooked as is the case in many states throughout the country now.
Since 2010, this process changed to handing over the nomination process to Head high school coaches, high school athletic directors, high school principals and McDonald’s All-American Selection Committee members, which is a very select group spread out all throughout the country. Anyone of these people can nominate a player on the McDonald’s All-American website no matter what a player’s credentials or accolades are. The nomination process takes place from September 6th of a player’s senior year and closes December 15th.
Last year, Oregon had just one boy nominated, which means out of the entire state, one high school coach, principal or AD took the time to nominate a player. In Washington this year, only four boys were nominated and all come from Renton High School who’s coach is fully aware of the process. This is not the first time a top 75 level player like Tari Eason who is headed to Cincinnati has not been nominated. Indiana has two high level players ranked #3 and #4 in the state that are both headed to Indiana that were not nominated. There are many players that may or may not have the ability to play community college basketball that were nominated to be in consideration for the country’s most elite high school game over legitimate high major signees. Many of whom have a chance to win Gatorade Player of the Year in their state. On the girl’s side in Indiana, someone nominated the state’s top sophomore Ayanna Patterson for the game and she is currently listed as an official nominee. Only seniors are eligible to be nominated, but the lack of a vetting process or having a state rep let something like this take place.
So, what is the answer? For now there needs to be a lot more education on the process. Hopefully this article is a step in the right direction. Emails are supposed to be sent to every high school athletic director in the country explaining the nomination process and then AD’s can forward the message along accordingly. So, athletic directors can help with the education of the process, but this does not fix the plethora of issues generally speaking. Countless deserving players are still being overlooked and missed. One high school coach told me that being a nominee has “lost its credibility in many ways due to the current system.” Having a state rep or committee to help smoothen out the process is the best answer I can come up with for now. I would leave all of the other details for the “experts”, but going back to the model of pre-2010 could prove to be well worth it.
In the meantime, high school coaches, AD’s and principals, if you have a highly talented basketball player, you might as well go ahead an nominate them and give them the honor while the current process stands in place.
Full list of 2020 nominees (Boys and girls) – https://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/content/dam/aag/2020_McDAAG_Nominees_List.pdf