The McDonald’s All-America game returned home to Chicago after first appearing at the then Rosemont Horizon in the fourth annual game. Putting together a team of McDonald’s All-Americans that prepped in the Chicago area would certainly be competitive. All of these players were dominant in high school. Some went on to amazing NBA/WNBA Careers, while others will have their legacies etched in either college or high school.
Mark Aguirre 1978
Aguirre was part of a loaded Westinghouse team in 1978. Aguirre played with two additional DePaul stars, Bernard Randolph and Skip Dillard. He led Westinghouse to the City Championship and a spot in the Class AA State Quarterfinals. They lost 63-60 to Isiah Thomas and St. Joseph.
Aguirre’s three year tenure at DePaul is arguably the best in school history. They finished 79-10 from 1979-81. He led the Blue Demons to the 1979 Final Four and number one seeds in 1980 and 81.
Despite playing only three seasons, Aguirre ranks first in school history with 2,182 points.
He played 13 seasons in the NBA with Dallas, Detroit and the Clippers. He was a part of Detroit’s NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.
Isiah Thomas (Westchester) St. Joseph’s 1979
As a Junior, Thomas led St. Joseph’s (Westchester) to a runner up finish after they defeated Westinghouse and Aguirre in the Quarterfinals. Thomas made the Pan-Am team in 1979 before he matriculated at Indiana. He was named one of the 35 best McDonald’s All-Americans ever. He is one of only 21 players to win both and NBA and NCAA Championship. He was the 1981 NCAA’s Final Four Most Outstanding player and the 1990 NBA Finals MVP. Only Thomas, Russell, Abdul-Jabbar (Alcindor) and Walton have won titles in both college and the nba and won the NCAA MOP and the finals MVP.
Glenn “Doc” Rivers, (Maywood) Proviso East 1980
In Rivers Senior Year Proviso East finished the regular season ranked first in AA. They were upset in the Sectionals. Rivers played in the 1980 McDonald’s game with Russell Cross from Manley.
Rivers played three seasons at Marquette before leaving a year early for the NBA. He played 13 NBA seasons with four teams. He spent his first eight seasons in Atlanta where he enjoyed his greatest success.
After retirement, Rivers has spent time in the broadcasting and coaching. He led Garnett and the Celtics to the 2008 NBA Championship.
Nick Anderson, Simeon, 1986
Anderson honored his best friend and former Simeon Star Ben Wilson by wearing the number 25 throughout his career. He was the leading scorer on Illinois’ 1989 Flying Illini, leading them to just the second Final Four in school history.
He spent ten of his 13 NBA seasons with Orlando, twice averaging over 19 PPG. The Magic reached the 1995 NBA Finals and 1996 Eastern Conference Finals with Anderson starting at shooting guard.
Juwan Howard CVS, 1991
In high school, Howard led CVS to the Chicago Public League Semifinals as a Senior where they lost to Westinghouse and future Illinois star Kiwane Garris.
Howard was part of Michigan’s Fab Five, the most celebrated recruiting class in history. He played in two national championships. He was the starting center. In his three seasons at Michigan, Howard averaged 15.3 PPG and 7.5 RPG. The Wolverines were 80-22 while Howard was there and 13-3 in the NCAA Tournament. They advanced to at least the Elite Eight every season.
He has had a 19 year NBA Career and scored over 16,000 points. Howard won an NBA Championship in 2012 with the Miami Heat.
Kevin Garnett (Farragut) 1995
Garnett was the first true superstar of the modern era to skip college to go straight to the NBA. He made an immediate impact with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the McDonald’s Game and was named the MVP. He parlayed that into being picked fifth in the NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He made the All-Star team by his second season and has been selected 15 times. He was a member of the 2000 Gold Medal Men’s Basketball Team at the Olympics in Sydney, the 2003 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 2004 NBA MVP and the 2008 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
After 12 seasons in Minnesota, Garnett was traded to Boston prior to the 2007-08 season. Garnett and new acquisition Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce to lead the Celtics to their first NBA Championship in 22 years the following summer.
Ronnie Fields Farragut 1996
It was because of Fields that Garnett moved to Chicago for his senior season in 1995. Fields is one of the purest Athletes in the history of Chicago basketball. He is one of the best leapers and dunkers chicago prep basketball has ever seen.
As a senior, Fields was the Illinois Mr. Basketball and part of the High School All-American Team with Kobe Bryant and Mike Bibby. He averaged 32.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 4.5 blocks, 4 steals, and 4.5 dunks a game as a senior according to a 2009 Sports Illustrated Article.
He signed a letter of intent with DePaul, but did not qualify academically. After injuring his neck in a car accident, Fields had to go through rehab and wound up bouncing around in the CBA, other domestic minor league and internationally before retiring in 2007.
Melvin Ely Thorton 1997
As a sophomore, Ely was part of star studded Thornton team that shocked Garnett and Farragut. They were led by future NFL stars Antwaan Randle-El and Tai Streets. They eventually lost to Sergio McClain and Peoria Manual in the state championship game. He would lead the state tournament in scoring the next two seasons, but Manual was always in their way of winning a state championship.
Ely went to Fresno State where he averaged 15.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 2.9 BPG. He had a modest nine year NBA Career with five different teams.
Quentin Richardson Whitney Young 1998
Richardson and Fenwick’s Corey Maggette were the two representatives from Chicago on the 1998 team. Richardson led Young to its first state championship in his senior year. He lead the tournament in scoring.
He spent two years at DePaul before leaving early for the NBA draft. He was their leading scorer in both seasons and led the Blue Demons to only one of their two NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 21 years. He retired last year after a 12 year NBA Career with five teams.
Candace Parker, Naperville Central 2004
Parker is one of only three women named one of the McDonald’s All-American 35 best players ever. She led Naperville Central to back to back state titles in 2003 and 2004, and then led Tennessee to back to back national championships in 2007 and 2008. Parker was the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. She is as famous for her ability to dunk as the rest of her play on the court. She is the only woman to ever win the McDonald’s Slam Dunk contest and became the first woman to dunk in an NCAA game. Parker won Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. She currently plays for the Los Angeles Sparks and has a daughter with NBA Player Shelden Williams.
Jon Scheyer, Glenbrook North, 2006
Scheyer was named to the 2006 team after an incredible career at Glenbrook North. Sherron Collins of Crane was the other Chicago player named to the team after that season. Scheyer led the Spartans to their first state title in his Junior season. They became the first North Shore team to capture the state championship since Evanston won in 1968.
His status among the greats in Chicago prep history is legendary. In the final four games in the March to the title, Scheyer accumulated 134 points for an average of 33.5 PPG. The following season he set numerous scoring records at the prestigious Proviso West Holiday Tournament. He scored an incredible 21 points in 1:15 in a semifinal against the host team. Most of the players on this list competed at PW, including Rivers, Thomas, Aguirre and Garnett. GBN would lose an epic showdown with Simeon and Derrick Rose. The Wolverines pulled away in the second half to earn the victory.
Scheyer would matriculate at Duke and lead the Blue Devils to the 2009 NCAA Championship as their starting point guard.
Derrick Rose, Simeon 2007
By the time his career is over, Rose will arguably be the best player ever. He led Simeon to the last to AA State titles in 2006 and 2007. In his only season at Memphis, he led the Tigers to only their second ever appearance in the National Championship game. He parlayed that into a return home after being selected first overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. He became the first Rookie of the Year from Chicago and following year the first player ever from Chicago to win the MVP. He is the major reasons behind the Bulls revival.
Anthony Davis, Perspectives Charter School 2011
Davis rise to prominence is amazing. Despite his team going 6-19 as a Senior at Perspectives Charter School he was named consensus number one high school player in 2011. He was dominant in his one season at Kentucky. He averaged 14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG and 4.7 BPG. He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2012 Final Four. His 13.8 PPG, 12.3 RPG and 4.8 BPG led Kentucky to their first NCAA Championship since 1996. Davis’ six blocked shots in the championship game and 29 in the tournament tied Joakim Noah’s 2006 records.
Jabari Parker Simeon 2013
Parker joined a select club of player this year when he led Simeon to their fourth straight state championship. He is arguably the best player in the history of Illinois Prep basketball. In winning his second consecutive Mr. Basketball award, Parker became the first player to ever win two. He also won the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2012.
He began at Simeon just two and half Years after the end of the Derrick Rose era. He has represented the United States in International tournaments the last two summers. Parker will play college at Duke.