McDonald’s has selected Columbus to host the 2010 boys and girls All-American basketball games at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
It had been rumored for quite some time that Columbus would host the 2010 McDonald’s All-American Game, but on Tuesday those rumors became reality.
Officials from McDonald’s Corp. announced Tuesday that Columbus will host the 2010 McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games March 31, 2010 at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
The announcement will give Ohio State a chance to make the boys game, in particular, like a home game. Coach Thad Matta currently has five verbal commitments for his 2010 class with four of them considered among the nation’s top 50 prospects.
That group includes Columbus Northland power forward Jared Sullinger and Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Leurs wing DeShaun Thomas, each considered among the nation’s top 10 prospects. They would be considered near-locks to play in the game, particularly since it will be played at their future college home.
Matta, who appeared at Tuesday’s announcement at the Schott, also has commitments from two more top-50 prospects in Cincinnati Princeton shooting guard Jordan Sibert and Zion-Benton (Ill.) guard Lenzelle Smith. Cleveland Benedictine wing Cameron Wright is the fifth member of this star-studded class.
The McDonald’s All American Games are recognized as the premier showcase for the top high school basketball talent in the country. Annually, 24 boys and 24 girls are selected from a pool of more than 2,500 nominees nationwide. The players will not only become part of the long-standing tradition of the Games, but will also raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.
“It’s a great honor to be hosting this game in our own backyard,” said Shirley Rogers-Reece vice president and general manager, McDonald’s Ohio Region. “This opportunity is a huge coup for not only McDonald’s in central Ohio, but for the entire community. We can’t wait to show off our great city by hosting the athletes, families and fans here.”
The McDonald’s All American Games tradition will continue with the following events planned for 2010:
* Team visit to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio: Every athlete who participates in the McDonald’s All American Games visits the host city’s local RMHC Chapter to experience first-hand how the Games impact the local community.
* Powerade Jam Fest: Slam dunk, skills and 3-point competitions, set for March 29, 2010
* Fundraising event for the community, set for March 30, 2010
* The Boys and Girls All American Games, set for March 31, 2010
“We could not be more excited to have the Game here in Columbus,” said Paul Thompson executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. “This will provide us with even more opportunities to help families in and around Ohio and show off our beautiful new House.”
More information on ticket sales will be available in fall 2009.
2009 McDonald’s All American Game
The 2009 McDonald’s All American Games will be played April 1 at the BankUnited Center in Miami, Fla. The Girls Game begins at 5:30 p.m. and airs live on ESPNU, and the Boys Game tips off at 8 p.m. and airs live on ESPN. For a complete list of players and more information on the McDonald’s All American Games and RMHC, please visit:
McDonald’s All American Games Background
Since 1977, more than 850 players have competed in the McDonald’s All American Games, forming an elite list that reads like a “Who’s Who” in basketball history.
McDonald’s All American athletes include NBA greats Alonzo Mourning (retired), Magic Johnson (retired), Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics), LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), as well as WNBA star Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and women’s NCAA stars Tina Charles (Connecticut) and Maya Moore (Connecticut).