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Deng has been ruled out of tonight's McDonalds All-American
High School Game in Cleveland, as he recovers from surgery last
Friday to his fractured left foot, but he will be attending the
Deng, a 6'8 forward from London, has played his high school basketball
with Blair Academy in New Jersey for the past four years, and
would have lined up for the East team, alongside his team-mate
Charlie Villanueva and rising star LeBron James.
The 26th annual Boys game is being broadcast live tonight in the
UK and Ireland for the first time ever on NASN
Duke-bound Deng joins Steve Bucknall (1985) and Neil Fingleton
(2000) as the only other players from the UK to be selected to
play in what is the High School equilvalent of the NBA All-Star
Nearly 650 players have competed in the McDonald's All American
Game, forming an elite list, which reads like a Who's Who in basketball
history. McDonald's All Americans include basketball greats Magic
Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant, as well as NCAA stars
Chris Thomas (Notre Dame), Chris Duhon (Duke), Nick Collison (Kansas),
Shanna Zolman (Tennessee), Ann Strother (UConn), and Courtney
LaVere (Notre Dame).
"My experience as a McDonald's All American is one I'll never
forget," said Kobe Bryant, current Los Angeles Lakers star
and 1996 McDonald's All American. "Not only was I able to
compete in my first nationally-televised game against some of
the best talent in the country, but more importantly, I was able
to give back to others through my visit to the Ronald McDonald
Since the first McDonald's All American Boys Game was played in
Philadelphia in 1978, the Game has provided one of the only true
national showcases for the best young male players in the land
to exhibit their talent. With the addition of the Girls Game in
2002, the same is now true for female athletes.
"McDonald's will continue to pave the way for female athletes
this year as they host the second annual McDonald's All American
Girls Game in Cleveland", said Helen Darling, WNBA Cleveland
Rockers guard. "The McDonald's All American Game provides
a tremendous opportunity for team members to obtain national exposure
-- and the chance to meet fellow players with goals and dreams
similar to their own."
final 48 players (24 boys, 24 girls) were selected from a pool
of more than 2,500 top high school boy and girl basketball players
from across the country and nominated to the McDonald's All American
Teams in February 2003. Morgan Wootten, the winningest coach in
high school basketball history, serves as chairman of the selection
committee and legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, who has been involved
in the McDonald's All American Game since its inception, serves
as overall chairman of the Game and as an advisor to the selection
"For these young athletes, it is quite an honor to be nominated,
let alone selected to the McDonald's All American team,"
said Wooden. "McDonald's All Americans are role models and
leaders to their peers, not only in basketball, but also in the
game of life."
Net proceeds from the 2003 McDonald's All American Games will
benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio (Cleveland
and Akron) and Youngstown. Previous beneficiaries of McDonald's
All American Games include Sickle Cell Anemia Research, the United
Negro College Fund and many other local children's charities.
More than $3 million has been raised since the Game was first
played in 1978.
Thursday 27th March
12midnight LIVE and 9.00pm Re-Live, NASN