CHICAGO – On Tuesday night, as the book closed on the 45th anniversary of the McDonald’s All American Games, the popular conversation in the host hotel’s lobby among parents, fans and players was forward-focused.
The debate raged on about which players in the 2023 class would carry the mantle and join the prestigious fraternity of All Americans next season.
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Consequently, we decided to zero-in on five players you can bank on occupying roster spots with the golden arches this time next year.
G.G. Jackson, Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.), F
Why he’s a shoo-in for the game: Jackson is 6’9”, 215-pound matchup nightmare because of his versatility as an efficient scorer on all three levels. Jackson can create his own shot on the wing and dominate in the paint with an automatic jump hook. He’s a highly productive rebounder, using his elite athleticism and length to create positioning. Jackson doubles as an elite defender, using his agility, length and anticipation to lockdown the opposition.
Robert Dillingham, Donda Academy (Simi Valley, Calif.), PG
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Why he’s a shoo-in for the game: Dillingham is a volume scorer with the best combination of elite ball handling and shiftiness in the class. He has limitless range on his jump shot, exceptional quickness and speed and elite athleticism. Dillingham has the innate ability to knock down highly contested shots, making him, arguably, the toughest guard to defend in the class.
DJ Wagner, Camden (N.J.), PG
Why he’s a shoo-in for the game: Wagner is a speedy and shifty lead guard with great feel and elite scoring ability at all three levels. He has a mixed bag offensively, with multiple counter-moves for every defensive situation. Wagner thrives in the mid-range but is nearly impossible to keep out of the lane.
Ron Holland, Duncanville (Texas), F
Why he’s a shoo-in for the game: Holland is a highly productive and highly skilled combo forward who impacts the game in every way imaginable. At 6’8”, Holland is a matchup problem on the wing with blow-by quickness and elite athleticism for powerful finishes at the rim. His length helps him dominate both ends of the floor and guards all five positions.
Mackenzie Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.), SF
Why he’s a shoo-in for the game: At 6’8”, Mgbako is masterful at creating space and maneuvering around the perimeter to launch efficient jump shots from all over the floor. His length and quickness make him a headache of a defensive assignment and his ability to score at all three levels with equal efficiency is what makes him the most dangerous. Those attributes have drawn him comparisons to Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism