Add another historic achievement to the list for high school basketball phenom DeAndre Ayton in his already prolific career.
Ayton became just the second Bahamian to be named a McDonald’s High All-American when he was announced as a member of the 2017 roster late Sunday night.
He follows current University of Texas guard and Harbour Island native LaShann Higgs who was named to the girls’ roster in 2015.
Ayton, the consensus No.1 player in the class of 2017 and commit to the University of Arizona will headline the 40th edition of the game, hosted May 29 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Ayton, out of Hillcrest Academy, was the only Arizona commit named to the list of the top 24 high school players in the United States.
His West team will include other top players such as Gary Trent Jr (Prolific Prep/Duke) , Brian Bowen (la Lumiere/Undecided), Troy Brown Jr (Centennial/Oregon), Trae Young (Norman North/Oklahoma) and Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic/Undecided) who all appeared in the Nike EYBL Bahamas exhibition game this summer.
The East team also includes Nike EYBL Bahamas alum including Mohammed Bamba (Westtown/Undecided), Wendell Carter Jr (Pace Academy/Duke), Quade Green (Neumann-Goretti/Kentucky), Mitchell Robinson (Chalmette/Western Kentucky), Collin Sexton (Pebblebrook/Alabama), Lonnie Walker (Reading/Miami0, PJ Washington (Findlay Prep/Kentucky), and Jarred Vanderbilt (Victory Prep/Kentucky).
The University of Kentucky Wildcats have four signees in the game while 12 universities will be represented and seven players are still uncommitted.
This year’s teams were selected from more than 750 nominees by the McDonald’s All-American Games selection committee, led by Morgan Wootten, committee chairman and legendary Hall of Fame basketball coach.
Ayton has risen to the top of the high school basketball circuit after just a few short years and chose to end his recruitment process before his senior season ever began when he announced his decision to attend Arizona in a press conference broadcasted live on ESPN’s SportsCenter last summer.
In November, he had the rare opportunity to play at home at the Sand Between Your Toes Showcase and it proved to be a welcoming homecoming experience for the most highly regarded high school basketball prospect in America.
Ayton powered his Hillcrest Prep Bruins to a 2-0 outing in the showcase hosted at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
He previously attended the Balboa City School in San Diego, California after he left the Bahamas just over three years ago to complete his education and compete against better basketball talent.
At Balboa City, he rose to national prominence and was evaluated as one of the top ranked players in his class by ESPN, Scout, Rivals and several other recruiting services.
The McDonald’s All-American Game is an All-Star game for American and Canadian boys and girls high-school basketball graduates. Consisting of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format.
Several Bahamian players have received McDonald’s All-American nominations in the past, however, Higgs was the only Bahamian player to advance to the final stage in the selection process, which begins with hundreds of players nationally in the United States.
As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam-dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition.
The girls compete in the three-point shooting competition and the overall-skills competition. The boys’ game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls’ game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.