The Search Begins
The initial list of potential nominees is gathered online beginning September 4, 2012 by Sports America, Inc., which has worked with McDonald’s in connection with the McDonald’s All American Games since its inception in 1978. Names are submitted by the following groups:
There is no set number of how many high school senior players can be nominated throughout the country.
What Happens Next?
Once the nomination process closes on December 15, 2013, Sports America, Inc. certifies eligibility for each nominated player. Nominated players must be high school seniors having only participated in eight semesters of high school and in good academic standing. Nomination certificates of recognition are then mailed directly to the player’s school.
The Boys and Girls Team Selection Process
The voting process for the McDonald’s All American Games Final Teams involves the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee. The Selection Committee is comprised of some of the nation’s most knowledgeable high school analysts, prep scouts, high school newspaper reporters and prestigious basketball coaches. There are 37 Boys Selection Committee members and 22 Girls Selection Committee members. The Selection Committee is chaired by Coach Morgan Wootten, former coach of DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Coach Wootten won more than 1,200 games and won five national high school championships.
Preliminary Round - The selection process begins with a consensus list of the top 100 players in the nation, compiled by the staff of Sports America, Inc., from the nation’s top recruiting and high school basketball publications and online services. The list is sent to the Selection Committee at the end of December for them to add additional names they feel are deserving candidates for the designated Top 100 finalists. After being reviewed by the Selection Committee, the ballot may grow to as many as 150 names of the top players in the country.
Round One - The first ballot, with those 150 or so names, is sent to the Selection Committee in January, asking members to vote for the 50 most deserving players, in their opinion, from the alphabetized list (Note: Players are intentionally not ranked on the ballot). Once the ballots are returned to Sports America Inc. in mid-January, the votes are tallied and the Top 50 vote getters are considered McDonald’s All American Finalists for that year.
Round Two - The second ballot consists of the Top 50 finalists from the previous vote and is sent to the Selection Committee near the end of January. Once again, the committee reviews the ballot and this time they vote on the Top 30 players.
Final Round - The final ballot includes the Top 30 players (and any ties from the previous round of voting). This time, committee members are given a ballot that requires them to make their own McDonald’s All American Games Team. The ballots require the committee members to select two point guards, two shooting guards, two small forwards, two power forwards and two centers for each the East and West teams. Each Selection Committee member votes for 20 total players. The players are ranked in order based on who appears on the most ballots. These players are placed on the McDonald’s All American Games roster. By designing the final ballot this way, we make sure that each player position is represented.
In February, McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman Morgan Wootten reviews and approves the 20 names chosen by the Selection Committee and notifies each player that he or she has been named to the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Team and selected to play in the McDonald’s All American Game. Coach Wootten has the option to add four additional players from the next four vote getters, should he feel that it is warranted for the overall good of the Games.
The final 24 Boys and 24 Girls selected to play will be named during the 2013 McDonald’s All American Games Selection Show, which will air on February 14, 2013 on ESPNU.
Each committee member is instructed to vote for players who they feel should be represented as McDonald’s All Americans. Players must have played at least half of their senior season and should be academically eligible throughout the voting process.
Where is the line between East and West?
There is no specific line that determines the East and West breakdown. We take the players for each position and divide them based on relative geographic location. Because there are sometimes more players at one position on one team than others, they are usually exceptions to the rule. Most of the players will fall in their appropriate region.
The selection criteria to be named to the McDonald’s All American Games Team adheres to the rules and regulations of the National High School Federation which states that once a student/athlete enters his/her ninth grade year, he/she has four consecutive years to complete his/her high school eligibility. Therefore, fifth-year players are not eligible to participate in the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games.
If you have any additional questions about the selection process, please contact Terri Lynn Wootten at Sports America Inc. at (703) 867-2433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.