With the release of the 2014 McDonald’s All-American boys teams last night, three Chicago-area products joined the distinguished roster of players from the city to play in the biggest high school talent showcase.
Tyler Ulis (Marion Catholic), Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young) and Cliff Alexander (Curie) were all named to the team, joining such recent bold-face names as Eddy Curry (’01), Dee Brown (’02), Shannon Brown (’03), Jon Scheyer (’06), Derrick Rose (’07), Iman Shumpert (’08), Anthony Davis (’11), and last year’s National Player of the Year Jabari Parker.
With the game enjoying a several-year stretch of being hosted at the United Center, Chicago talents who make the game are ensured more attention than just about any other selection there. It also doesn’t hurt that the guys from Chicago are typically among the very best of their classes and headed to the biggest programs in the country — Ulis to Kentucky, Okafor to Duke and Alexander to Kansas. Both Duke and Kentucky lead the college programs involved with four recruits each.
Last year’s game acted as a first act for several current college freshmen who people are filling highlight reels and looking to make an impact on the pros soon, Parker among them. Okafor and Alexander have already made big impacts this high school season against top competition and the two post players are likely to face each other repeatedly in the game, making for a delicious capper to a season where those two are likely to face each other in a IHSA sectional final.
Ulis’s quick release and slick handles should be well suited for this exhibition. It’s not hard to say that the trio should be ready for the big lights when the game takes place April 2.
Take a look below at reactions to their selections from Ulis, Okafor and Alexander on Twitter.
2014 McDonald’s All-American game rosters released (Sporting News)
Ulis, Alexander and Okafor named McDonald’s All-Americans (High School Cube)
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