Pictured from left to right: Morgan Wooten, Howard Garfinkel, Sonny Hill, and Bob Geoghan
In 1977, Bob Geoghan went to Morgan Wootten and John Wooden to discuss taking a high school showcase to the next level, following his pitch to McDonald’s. This universal love for the Golden Arches coupled with a love for the game of basketball helped spark the creation of what we know affectionately today as the McDonald’s All American Games.
The McDonald’s All American Games is where hype becomes legacy.
The McDonald's All American Games features the game’s brightest stars from all over the country going head-to-head—East vs. West. The inaugural McDonald’s All American Games was the nation’s first high school basketball event of its kind and played in front of a crowd of 13,000 fans at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA.
But the Games are not just about basketball. Bob wanted to incorporate a charitable component into the Games experience. The trio loved the idea of players giving back to something “bigger than themselves” and born out of this desire was the relationship between McDonald’s All American Games and the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the non-profit organization that creates, finds, and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.
Forty-five years later, the McDonald’s All American Games is the pinnacle of high school basketball. Each year ushers a new group of young players into a club of legendary athletes, many of whom are known by a single name: Magic, Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, Lebron, Candace, A’ja. The best of the best have donned a jersey featuring the iconic Golden Arches.
The McDonald’s All American court is where hype meets heritage. Where an 18-year-old shares a spot with the greatest players to ever touch a basketball. It’s a status no one can take away from them—they’ve earned this prestige.