Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Julius Randle Added to McDonald’s Game; N.C. State, Oklahoma Cut From List (UPDATED)
Julius Randle needed to prove to the McDonald’s All-American folks that he was healthy when he returned from a foot injury that had kept him off the court for several months.
The 6-foot-9 Randle was officially added to the McDonald’s roster as the 25th player and will compete for the East team. The game is set for April 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
The new was first reported by USA Today and confirmed to SNY.tv by McDonald’s All American committee chairman Morgan Wootten.
“He has been added to the team, no question,” Wootten said.
“We had talked to him earlier in the year and said we will watch his physical recovery to see if he can come back 100 percent and, boy, he came back 100 percent and played awesome as they won the state championship.”
According to USA Today, Randle averaged 28.8 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in five state playoff games while leading Prestonwood (TX) Christian to the TAPPS 5A title. He averaged 32.5 points and 15.5 in the state Final Four.
Randle is just the third player ever added to the game after coming back from injury, following Dereck Whittenburg in 1979 and Sam Perkins in 1980.
“I’m so happy right now, it’s a great feeling because this is something that I’ve always dreamed of,” Randle told USA Today. “I wasn’t sure if it was gonna happen or not, but now that it has I’m just so blessed. It’s an honor.”
His mother, Carolyn Kyles, told the paper: “I’ve been crying ever since I heard he’d been added because when it happened there was so much we didn’t know. Basketball is everything for him, and I would just keep telling him to trust God and in the end it would reveal itself. And that’s what happened. His body has gotten much-needed rest, but the last two weeks has been amazing. We went back and started from the bottom, now we’re here.”
Randle is now set to announce his college choice on March 20 on ESPNU. Alan Branch of Texas Boys Basketball told SNY.tv that Randle is no longer considering Oklahoma and N.C. State and is down to Kansas, Kentucky, Florida and Texas. A poll on ZAGSBLOG shows fans believe it will come down to Kansas or Kentucky.
“I’m not sure where I want to go,” Randle told USA Today. “But this can be a stressful thing, and I set the date to give myself a cutoff for a decision. I don’t want it to linger on. I feel like I’m confident enough in myself that by that time I’ll feel 100 percent about where I’ll go. For now, I’m just enjoying being a McDonald’s All American.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.