The McDonald's All-American Game refers to each of the all-starbasketball games played each year for American and Canadian boys' and girls' high-school basketball graduates. Consisting of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys also compete in a slam dunk contest, a three-point shooting competition, and an overall timed skills competition. The girls don't dunk but they have good fundamentals. The boys' game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.
The McDonald's All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald's game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.
The McDonald's All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Having the designation of McDonald's All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada. Selected athletes often go on to success in college basketball. Every college team to win the NCAA men's championship since 1978 has had at least one McDonald's All-American on its roster, except for the 2002 Maryland Terrapins and 2014 Connecticut Huskies.
On January 31, 2012, McDonald's All American Games unveiled its list of 35 of the Greatest McDonald's All Americans, released in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the McDonald's All American High School Boys Basketball Game.
The Greatest Boys McDonald's All Americans list, includes some of the top names in men's basketball history, and features past and present Olympics, NBA and NCAA stars. The players were selected by members of the McDonald's All American Games Selection Committee. In determining the list, all past McDonald's All Americans were considered based on their high school careers and performances in the McDonald's All American Games, success at the collegiate and professional level, and post-career accomplishments. The full list includes: