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KEY Oklahoma City

Visitors to Oklahoma City will have the unique opportunity to see the best of the best at the McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Games March 31st. Now in its 27th year, the game has featured such greats as Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Carmello Anthony, and LeBron James, among hundreds of others.

What began in 1977, McDonald’s selected the best high school basketball players in the country and named them to the first McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Boys Team. The Team competed in the Capital Classic Game (started in 1974) against the best players in the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia area.

Then, in 1978, just one year later, McDonald’s launched its own all-star high school game -- the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game, featuring an East and a West team of the best high school boy players in the country. It was the first national high school basketball all-star Game. The Inaugural Game was played in 1978 before a crowd of 16,000.

A quarter of a century later, in 2002, McDonald’s celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Boys Game and introduced the Inaugural Girls Game. Both took place at Madison Square Garden in front of over 16,000 enthusiastic fans. Last year’s game in Cleveland, Ohio raised over $200,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities and more than $3 million has been raised since the inaugural game.

The 2004 McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game will be held at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. The Girls and Boys Game will be on March 31st, and will cap off a week full of activities involving the players, McDonald’s and media from across the nation.

The event really begins on Saturday, March 27 when the players begin arriving. They will have time to check out Oklahoma City and get acquainted with their new teammates. On Sunday, the teams will split up and make special visits to the families staying in the Ronald McDonald Houses of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. This will mark a special time where these families in crisis can have a little fun and they athletes can see what the game is really all about. They will also make
special trips to Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, and St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

Monday will be a fun day, as they will take part in a basketball clinic with local Oklahoma City children and WNBA star, Jennifer Azzi. That night, they will have the opportunity to show off their skills at the Powerade Jamfest. Held at Carl Albert High School, the athletes will compete against each other in a slam dunk contest, team-ball competition and three-point shooting contest. To top it off, the Powerade Jamfest will be attended by numerous celebrity judges.

Tuesday will be an important day for the players, as their practices begin getting tougher, and they will meet with the Oklahoma State Representatives and Senators at the State Capitol. That night, they will attend a black-tie affair at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. They will be the stars of the night, as they are honored for their talent and hard work.

Finally, Wednesday will bring the basketball event of the year! The girls will start the night off at 5:30 PM, with the boys game at 8:00 following. ESPN will be on hand, taping the girls game for a later viewing and broadcasting the boys game live.

All net proceeds go directly to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, to help provide a home away form home for the families of sick and injured children.

The McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Games will prove to be the biggest basketball event to hit Oklahoma City in 2004. And there’s still time to be there! Please call (405) 236-5000, 1-800-511-1552, or log onto www.tickets.com to get your tickets.





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