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.
Evaluation event billed as McDonald’s All-American Game is not sanctioned by McDonald’s
By ADAM ZAGORIA
Due to the pandemic, the players in the Class of 2021 have had limited opportunities to showcase themselves in front of college coaches and evaluators.
Recruiting was shut down all summer and the NCAA dead period now goes until at least Jan. 1.
Enter Coach Morgan Wootten’s Basketball Camp which plans to hold an evaluation event Oct. 24-25 in Mansfield, Texas. The event was initially billed as a McDonald’s All-American Game evaluation event but a McDonald’s spokesman said via email the event “is not an official McDonald’s All American Games event. Coach Wootten Basketball independently set up the camp, and has since updated materials to reflect that.”
Players must pay for travel on their own and there’s a fee of $180 to enter the event.
“This event will be a McDAAG Evaluation event where our committee will be attending in person and those who are not comfortable traveling will be live-streamed in,” Terri Lynn Wootten of the Wootten camp said by email.
“Due to the pandemic there have been a ton of events cancelled and now that the high school season has been pushed backed on their start dates we have decided to give the 2021 class an opportunity to get out in front of our committee live. This is not a mandatory event to be nominated or considered for selection. just an opportunity to showcase themselves and compete for selection and/or the Player of the Year. In the past we have had numerous events and opportunities to see these kids and unfortunately this year we did not. We want to give them a fair evaluation.
“We extended invites to top 100 seniors (boys and girls) and top 50 juniors (boys and girls).”
Wootten said players are “responsible for their own travel/accommodations expenses and do have a registration fee to participate. Again, participating in or not in the event does not guarantee to make or not make the game. It is an opportunity to be evaluated and seen.
“The first 150 girls and 150 boys that registered will be guaranteed spots. We will have to determine after that number what we can manage under the COVID mitigating policies in place for the facility and to provide a safe environment for the participants, staff, and evaluators.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.