{{ timeAgo('2020-03-13 07:57:45 -0500') }} basketball Edit

Stars react to cancellation of McDonald's All-American Games

While the cancelation of the NCAA Tournament sent shockwaves throughout the college game on Wednesday, for the future names of the sport, it was the cancellation of the McDonald’s All-American Game that may have hit the amateur ranks the hardest.

Entering its 43rd year, the all-star game is what many aspire to be a part of before a possible NBA career. That will not be the case this year, thanks to the coronavirus.

The build-up to the event was as great as it has been in recent years thanks to such a strong 2020 class. Which prospect was going to intrigue the NBA scouts the most? Who would take home MVP honors? Could we finally settle the No. 1 ranking conversation? That will be no more.

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

2022 Rankings: Top 75

Instead, many what-ifs remain, though those invited and the parents of the expected participants have done their best to keep a straight face.

“It was an honor to have him nominated. He worked so hard for it. This was one of the many goals he knocked off of his list,” Brandon Boston Sr. said, the father of five-star senior BJ Boston. “But there’s also a lesson in all of this and I tell him all of the time that nothing is promised so always live and enjoy the moment and this year he really enjoyed those moments.”

Greg Brown Sr., the father of undecided senior Greg Brown Jr., fell in line in a similar manner, though a complete cancellation was not what he was hoping for. “With everything being cancelled, they had to fall in line,” he said. “I just wish they could have postponed until later on.”

While the elder Boston and Brown have remained more upbeat, it is the high school standouts that have been hit the hardest, just like top-ranked Cade Cunningham. Earlier in the week, he was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year. The McDonald’s All-American Game was the next step in his journey before he stepped on the Oklahoma State campus.

“Just heartbroken, really. I worked my whole life to get to step onto that court with those guys. I think we have a really, really special class that not only has a lot of talent, but it is also going to compete and go at each other,” Cunningham said. “Now that we don’t have the opportunity to go and compete against each other on that stage, it does hurt but it’s for our safety so I understand.”

Similar to Cunningham, many of his peers were hit hard on Thursday by the cancellation of the McDonald’s All-American Game.

There will be no back and forth battle between Cunningham and Jalen Green. No prolific dunk by Brown that makes many realize what is in store for the years ahead with the Austin native. No critiques of the uniqueness of Evan Mobley. No excitement over the talent headed to North Carolina, or how DJ Steward might be the X-Factor at Duke in the fall.

There will be no all-star games to finalize the graduating class of 2020. They deserved better, yes, and it is rather ominous how things have ended. The promise remains, though, that this is the special group that will restore the excitement in the college game whenever the ball gets tipped in November.