On Monday night, the McDonald's All-Americans took the stage at the historic Chicago Theater to put their talents on display. The Chicago Theater has never hosted a live basketball event before, and it was pretty cool to walk in and see a basketball court (half of one) set up on the main floor.
Why not put a basketball court in the Chicago Theater?? #McDAAG pic.twitter.com/d1GL37eOKu— Keith Ybanez (@slipperyky) March 28, 2016
Gonzaga-commit, Zach Collins, elected not to partake in any of the evening's competitions, but the introduction of the rosters at the beginning of the event did allow for the opportunity to size up Collins' measurements in comparison to the rest of the All-Americans. The program had Collins listed at 7'0", and while I didn't have a tape measure on me (next time), he looks very close to that figure. With all 24 All-Americans lined up together on stage, Collins looked to just beat out Tony Bradley and Udoka Azubuike as the tallest guy on either East/West roster.
The Jam Fest competitions kicked off with a preliminary 3-point shootout in which the ladies definitely out-shot their male counterparts. Two ladies in particular, Destiny Slocum (Maryland) and Amber Ramirez (TCU), impressed throughout the night as they displayed their shooting prowess in the 3-point contest and the Skills Competition. Ramirez went on to win the ladies 3-point contest.
On the men's side, Virginia-commit Kyle Guy, and Kentucky bound Malik Monk, were the headliners as they competed in both the 3-point contest and the dunk competition. Monk won the 3-point contest with a score of 21, but Guy made it interesting down the stretch as he got to the final rack with a score of 19. Unfortunately for Guy, he missed all 5 shots in the final rack.
With all the shooting competitions out of the way, it was time for the dunk contest, and the night's main event did not disappoint. Duke-commit, Frank Jackson, won over the crowd with his charisma before displaying impressive power and athleticism on each attempt, eventually winning the competition on a savage 360.
While Jackson took home the hardware, I'd be remiss not to acknowledge Kyle Guy for attempting to ignore the difficulties of physics. In the final round, Guy sent Arizona-bound Kobi Simmons to the theater's top balcony to attempt an alley-oop off the bounce. All four attempts failed, because physics, but it was still a cool idea.
Kobi Simmons in the Chicago Theatre balcony, waiting to throw the ball down to Kyle Guy for the dunk. pic.twitter.com/TzwtswbTp3— Michael O'Brien (@michaelsobrien) March 29, 2016
Need another reason to get excited about tonight's #McDAAG? Check out highlights from Jam Fest!https://t.co/L9cMXF9p0W— All American Games (@McDAAG) March 30, 2016