OAK BROOK, Ill. – After months of speculation and rumors, it’s been confirmed today, McDonald’s named Atlanta as the host city for the 2018 McDonald’s All American Games. The 2018 Games will be played on March 28, 2018 at Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks. The city previously hosted the 1983 and 1992 Boys Games.
For years, Georgia has been a powerhouse for high school basketball talent. Since 1977, 41 McDonald’s All American Boys and 18 McDonald’s All American Girls players have hailed from the state. This includes 2017 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year winner, Wendell Carter, Jr. and other Games alumni including: Jaylen Brown (2015), Maya Moore (2007), Dwight Howard (2004), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1995), and Pervis Ellison (1985).
“On behalf of the Atlanta Hawks, Philips Arena and the great city of Atlanta, we’re proud to host the 2018 McDonald’s All American Games and are excited they are returning to a region of the country with such a storied legacy of basketball,” said Dominique Wilkins, Vice President of Basketball for the Atlanta Hawks and a 1979 McDonald’s All American. “Having spent much of my life playing and living here, I know the city and fans will enjoy hosting this event and seeing the next great crop of basketball talent.”
The move follows a successful run of the All American Games in Chicago. In 2011, the Games returned to Chicago which hosted the event for seven consecutive years, culminating in the 40th annual Games in 2017. Over that time, more than 100,000 fans attended the Games in Chicago witnessing the top high school talent, including six future NBA number one draft picks.
Prior to the extended stay in Chicago, the annual Games previously took place in different cities each year.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the city of Atlanta and the Philips Arena to bring the McDonald’s All American Games back to the state of Georgia,” said Morgan Wootten Hall-of-Fame basketball coach and McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee Chairman. “We’re equally grateful to the city of Chicago and our local partners that helped make the Games a great success for the past seven years and we can’t wait to bring our annual Games to another passionate basketball fan-base in Atlanta.”
Since the Games’ inception, more than 1,300 players have been named McDonald’s All Americans. They form an elite group of some of the top names in basketball history, including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne and Breanna Stewart.
The 2018 McDonald’s All American Games Girls Game will air on ESPN2 with the Boys Game immediately following on ESPN. Exact broadcast times will be shared at a later date.
Senior Writer and national analyst for Blue Media and compiles the Blue Star Elite 25 national boys and girls high school basketball and football rankings during the season. Lawlor, an award-winning writer, is a voting committee member and advisor for several national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games. He previously wrote for USA TODAY and ESPN.com, where he was the national preps writer, while compiling the national rankings in four sports.