McDonald’s All-American MVP Awards – The Best and the Forgotten

    LeBron James won the McDonald’s All-American MVP award in 2003, seven months later beginning his NBA career. Kenny Gregory won that award won that award in 1997, later going on to play for the Kansas Jayhawks in College. He never made it into the NBA, spending most of his career so far moving around European teams. His athletics abilities couldn’t hide his skill faults.

    Shabazz Muhammad won the MVP award without sharing it for the first time since 2009. In 2011, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky) and James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina) shared the award. In 2010 Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) and Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) shared the award. There’s a good chance Gilchrist will be heading into the NBA after the final four. Barnes has already announced he will enter the draft, with Sullinger also expected to join.

    Promised success? Unlike Rogers, it’s going to be very surprising if any of the four don’t make it into the league, or the first round at that. Recent years have seen the McDonald’s MVP make the league at the least. Really dominate in some instances. Derrick Favors probably should have spent another year, at least, with Georgia Tech. Into his second year in the NBA, he doesn’t look like future All-Star material at the moment.

    Jonathan Bender, Ronald Curry (went to the NFL), Felipe Lopez, Rick Brunson set an example to those believing that high school uber-domination leads to NBA stardom, that it can predict accurately how well a player will perform in the future.

    Tyreke Evans had a stellar rookie campaign, but hasn’t been as dominant in the last couple of seasons. Maybe it has more to do with the dysfunctional organization he’s in than his abilities. He’s still averaging 16.9 points and nearly 5 rebound and assists per game, with no one quite sure if he’s a point guard or a shooting guard yet.

    Michael Beasley is another case of great talent, but maybe a bit undersized for his position in the NBA and too many, way too many off court problems. He’s averaging 11.2 points per game this season for the Timbewolves, playing less than he did in his his first three seasons in the NBA. Chase Budinger and Josh McRoberts are two more examples of players who aren’t cut out for NBA stardom. They’re good, useful players, but their ceiling is quite low.

    There aren’t that many Kevin Durant (2006, shared), Dwight Howard (2004, shared) or LeBron James (2003). Some of these guys come along once a decade, maybe once in a generation. There’s a lot of hit and miss, sometimes too heavy expectations of these high school kids to develop into NBA superstars very quickly. Especially in the Prep-to-Pro days, up until 2005.

    Muhammad stood above a select few, with each and every one of them capable of eclipsing him in college and in the pros. Having the High School MVP awards, be it from the McDonald’s, the EA Sports roundball classic or the Jordan Classic, isn’t a guarantee for super-stardom. It just helps you get national recognition and the college you’re heading to a higher spot in the pre season rankings.

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