February 24, 2021
Lack of in-person game not stopping McDonald’s from honoring 2021 All-Americans
Get to know college basketball's next big stars
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited, and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives, and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Even though McDonald’s won’t be hosting a 2021 All-American game for a second year due to COVID-19, 24 of the nation’s top high-school hoopers have been named to the All-American girls roster.
Each year the organization welcomes a new group of young players into a legendary club, including stars like Shaq, LeBron, Candace and A’ja. McDonald’s wasn’t about to let the pandemic get in the way of this decades-long tradition.
The final 24 girls that made the cut were selected by a committee of experts from a field of over 700 nominated players. It’s quite the achievement, and McDonald’s believes these athletes deserve the recognition, game or no game.
“These young men and women are so special and have accomplished remarkable feats over the past four years,” said McDonald’s All-American Games Selection Committee Chairman in a statement. “It is our honor to continue investing in and supporting the next generation of basketball stars.”
This is the 20th year McDonald’s has named a girls team, and it’s highlighted by players like Azzi Fudd, Raven Johnson, Saniya Rivers, Sania Feagin and Caroline Ducharme.
All five of the top players are headed to either UConn or South Carolina. Fudd and Ducharme will join each other as Huskies, while Johnson, Rivers and Feagin will team up as Gamecocks.
Don’t forget, we had a unique trend this year of some top recruits choosing to enroll early at their respective colleges. This included some front-runners for the All-American squad: Dominique Darius (UCLA), Olivia Miles (Notre Dame), Saylor Poffenbarger (UConn) and Talia Von Oelhoffen (Oregon State).
Instead of hosting an on-court battle between the east and west squads, McDonald’s announced the 2021 class will be honored through a virtual celebration that will highlight the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
A Morgan Wootten Player of the Year will still be named as well. This award is bestowed upon the nation’s best high school player who has “demonstrated outstanding character, exhibited leadership and embodied the values of being a student-athlete through school work and community affairs.”
Players will also still get their official swag, including jerseys, a collection of adidas gear and player rings.
A one-hour special on ESPN scheduled for Saturday, April 3 will feature these impressive athletes and their accomplishments.