MILWAUKEE – High-flying athleticism and plenty of offense were the feature acts at the 31st Annual Boys McDonald’s All-American Game Wednesday night.
Ohio’s Mr. Basketball William Buford had six points, a rebound and an assist in the East's 107-102 win over the West squad in 21 minutes of play.
The 6-foot-5 Toledo Libbey guard is and Ohio State signee.
For the West, Canal Winchester 7-foot-1 center B.J. Mullens netted 12 points, three points and a steal in 13 minutes.
Mullens shared Division II player of year honors with Buford and will also suit up for the Buckeyes.
Mullens came into the game looking to go after the rebounding and blocked shot records but was limited by lack of playing time.
“It’s hard to get in the flow when you play in the first half for only five minutes and have to sit and then come out in the second half and get reset,” Mullens said. “It’s alright though, it’s an all-star game.”
Mullens put down a couple of dunks in the game aided by Brandon Jennings' (Oak Hill (Va.) Academy) game-high nine assists.
Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley's Willie Warren led all scorers with 23 points for the West while the East was led by game MVP Tyreke Evans of American Christian Academy (Pa.) with 21 points.
“It was fun playing in front a few thousand people,” Mullens said of the crowd of more than 10,000 at the Bradley Center – home of the Milwaukee Bucks. “Being here was nice and everybody played real hard and did what we could do with the minutes we had to play with.”
Buford and Mullens will suit it up again in April when they take part in the Jordan Brand Classic in New York City on April 19. Many of the other players participating in Wednesday’s game will be there as well.
“This was just one of two stepping stones I wanted to get,” Mullens said. “The last game in high school with these guys will be the Jordan Classic and then we’ll have to get ready for college.”
While Buford and his East teammates came out on top in the game, the real winner from the events is the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the Milwaukee area which will receive more than $500,000 from the week.
Eastmoor's Dunning Helps West To Win In McDonalds All-American Game
LSU recruit nets six points, five rebounds in prestigious event
One team’s on-target shooting and another’s struggles from the floor led to mixed outcomes for Ohio’s representatives in the McDonald’s All-American girls basketball game Wednesday night.
Lakota West's Amber Gray guards Eastmoor Academy's 'YaYa' Dunning in the McDonalds All-American game Wednesday
Eastmoor Academy’s 'Ya-Ya' Dunning finished the night with six points, five rebounds and two steals to help her West squad defeat the East, which featured Lakota West's Amber Gray 80-64.
“That was the whole point of coming out here,” Dunning said of getting the win. “I’m glad we weren’t satisfied with just being here.”
The West ended the night hitting 44 percent of its shots – 16 percent better than the West.
“We were on fire in the scrimmage (Tuesday), we got all of our makes out and today we had our misses,” national player of the year and Connecticut recruit Elana Delle Donne said of her East team.
Dunning, who is suiting up for LSU next year, said teamwork helped the East get the win.
“We played as a team and got it done,” she said. “We all played our individual roles and stuck together as a team.”
Except for an early 2-2 tie, the West had the lead throughout Wednesday’s game. The West’s biggest lead came midway through the second half when the team was up 62-38.
Gray, playing for Tennessee next season, was on the floor as the East tried to get back in it and cut the lead to 11 points with 1:15 left but then failed to score the rest of the way.
“We made our run at the end,” Gray said. “We worked hard and that’s all that matters.”
Gray had six points, five rebounds, an assist and a block in 18 minutes of play.
Brooklyn Pope and Nikki Speed, playing for the West and both headed to Rutgers, earned co-MVP honors for the game. Pope had 13 points and four rebounds while Speed had nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Gray said even though her team lost, basketball was a winner. “This group of girls is taking girls basketball to next level.”
FOR A GOOD CAUSE
The biggest winner of all from the week’s activities may be the local Ronald McDonald House Charities as the events are expected to raise more than $500,000 for the house.