Being selected as a McDonald’s All-American is something every high school basketball player strives towards. It’s the first step for some to get recognition on a national level. Pushing through their four-year careers, this would be the last chance for them to showcase what they bring to the table playing alongside their peers. Though many athletes deserve this honor, only a handful are picked out of the bunch. The 2018 McDonald’s All-Amercian game rosters were recently announced.
Congrats to the high school all stars who made the 2018 rosters! ?? Keep your ? to the hardwood and follow #WhereTheFutureStarts for all things Games as we inch closer to 3/28! pic.twitter.com/mqzz9R4eT1
— McDonald’s All American Games (@McDAAG) January 16, 2018
Shareef O’Neal, Arizona commit and son of Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, was one of those players left off the roster. The four-star recruit explained in a video with Overtime how not being selected to be in the showcase hurt him. He felt that he deserved a spot in the game, but he did not want to degrade those who got selected.
“They picked who they picked. All the guys they picked were good. I’m not trying to disrespect anything.
“I think I should have been in there. I think I worked really hard. Getting double and triple-teamed every single game. I feel like I do a lot and I always wanted to play in that game.”
Many stars such as LeBron James, Matt Barnes, Allen Iverson and his dad took to social media to speak out about O’Neal being skipped for the game.
“It kind of blew up… LeBron, Allen Iverson, Snoop Dogg, Matt Barnes, a lot of people … my Dad, a lot of people thought I should have made it.”
Nephew listen, Even though we all know you should have made that McDonalds game use it as motivation to prove not to those who didn’t vote you in, not to those who is actually in the game but more importantly to yourself that u belong! Keep grinding, studying and working daily! The light is always brighter at the end of the tunnel. #striveforgreatness? #familyties?? @shareefoneal
unbelievable post from matt barnes after Shaq’s son Shareef doesn’t make the McDonalds All American game— pic.twitter.com/gfHJdFrq73
— Pat Hutchinson (@TheHutch617) January 17, 2018
Shareef O’Neal has played at a well throughout his career at Crossroads High School. According to MaxPreps, despite suffering injuries, the 6’10 prospect averaged 8.2 points per game and collected about 5 rebounds going into his senior year. Last year he averaged 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game for Crossroads.
Although he did not make the McDonald’s All-American Game roster, O’Neal has nothing to prove on the high school level. After battling a head injury earlier ths season, he will finish his senior year strong and take his hard work to the Wildcats squad. O’Neal will now an extra ncentve to prove the critics wrong as he moves on in his career.