The McDonald's All American Games are coming back. On Wednesday, McDonald's announced that the All American Games are returning in March 2022 after being canceled the last two years due to COVID-19. The event will take place at the Wintrust Arena, home of WNBA's Chicago Sky. Chicago previously hosted the games in 1982 and from 2011-2017. It will also be the 45th anniversary of the games as the first one took place in 1977.
"No city has as much Games' history, so it's only right that we return to Chicago for our 45th anniversary," Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director of Cultural Engagement, McDonald's USA, said in a press release. "It's special to think about the impact the Games have had over all these years - whether it's for the athletes, their local communities, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the families that are supported by the organization."
The McDonald's All-American Games are where the best high school basketball players in the country take the court for an all-star battle. Chicago has produced a number of athletes who have played in the games, including Candace Parker, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis and Jabari Parker. The games have been played all over the country but Chicago has hosted the event the most. In 2020, the games were set to be played at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas in April but were called off when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.
In 2012, McDonald's All American Games named the 35 greatest players of all time to celebrate the 35th anniversary. Some of the legendary players who made the list are Michael Jordan (1981), Magic Johnson (1977), Shaquille O'Neal (1989), LeBron James (2003) and the late Kobe Bryant (1996).
Who will play in the games in 2022? That has yet to be determined as the high school basketball season hasn't started yet. However, 247Sports has listed its top high school basketball recruits for the class of 2022, and center Dereck Lively II comes in as the best in the country. He plays high school basketball at Westtown School in Belletone, Pennsylvania, and is looking to play college ball at either Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State or USC.