JPII vs NT United

John Paul II senior Jaylon Tyson, left, has been nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game along with teammate and senior Manny Obaseki.

On Thursday, more than 700 nominees were revealed for the 44th annual McDonald’s All-American Games, including a handful of standout basketball players from the Dallas area.

Due to COVID-19, the games themselves will not be taking place for the second consecutive year. Instead, the organizers of the event are planning a virtual celebration for the 48 players who are named McDonald’s All-Americans. The final rosters will be announced later this month.

“Even during an unprecedented year, we were so impressed seeing high school athletes continuing to celebrate the game we all love while making an impact both on and off the court,” said Joe Wootten, McDonald’s All-American Games selection committee chairman via press release. “Recognizing that many of these student-athletes had their senior seasons altered or shortened, we wanted to honor them for their skill and dedication to the game of basketball.

“While we’re disappointed we can’t hold in-person games this year, that does take away from the accomplishments of this class and they will forever be a part of the legendary group of past and present McDonald’s All-Americans.”

Among the 700-plus nominees were 87 players from Texas — the most of any state in the country — with several emanating from the Metroplex.

The John Paul II boys are headed to the playoffs to defend their Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state championship and will do so behind a pair of McDonald’s All-American nominees in seniors Jaylon Tyson and Manny Obaseki. Tyson, committed to Texas Tech, and Obaseki, pledged to Texas A&M, have guided the Cardinals to a 22-1 record, including 19 consecutive wins as the state’s top-ranked private school team according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

On the girls side, two teammates at Plano have been nominated for the All-American game as well with seniors Amaya Brannon and Mikayla Eddins among 67 girls nominees from Texas. Eddins, last year’s 9-6A MVP, and Brannon have the Lady Wildcats in the area round of the Class 6A playoffs after a commanding 72-58 defeat of Denton Braswell on Feb. 10. Brannon scored 27 points in the win.

Other girls nominees from Star Local Media’s coverage area include a few of the top scorers in the Metroplex: McKinney North senior Amaria Fields, Frisco Centennial senior Madison Ott, Prestonwood Christian senior Kendall Parker and Mesquite Horn senior Jasmine Shavers.

Shavers, committed to Mississippi State, leads the Metroplex in scoring among 6A programs at 25.3 points per game, while Fields, a Boston College signee, averaged 25.4 points per game across just 16 games played for the Lady Bulldogs. 

Parker is averaging 19.0 points for the playoff-bound Lady Lions, while Ott, who’s committed to Clemson, recently capped her high school career after guiding the Lady Titans to the postseason. She scored 15 of her team’s 33 points in a bi-district loss to Wylie East.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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