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Aaron Gordon dunks his way to MVP award at McDonald's All American Game

Wiggins vs. Parker matchup was game within the game at United Center



Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) senior and Arizona commit Aaron Gordon turned the McDonald's All American Game into his personal dunk contest. / Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO -- From the opening moments of the game when Jabari Parker blocked Andrew Wiggins' first shot, the Parker-Wiggins pairing was the game within the McDonald's All American boys basketball game Wednesday in Chicago.

The two players are considered to be the top two players in the country by several recruiting services, they wore No. 22 for their respective teams and they spent most of the night guarding each other.

While Parker's team won the game, 110-99, Wiggins usually got the better in the one-on-one matchup that is likely to be repeated in college and the NBA. He had 19 points, hitting six of 10 shots from the floor and seven rebounds. Parker, a 6-8 Duke recruit from Simeon (Chicago), had 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists and picked up five fouls to four for Wiggins, a 6-9 player from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep who hasn't said yet where he will sign.

"It was the best against the best," Wiggins said. "We're both really competitive."

Parker said he was most worried about Wiggins driving the lane.

"He's super-athletic," Parker said. "I would try to over-commit on the dribble but he could shoot from the outside too."

They may have been the only two players in the game to play much defense. Aaron Gordon of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) won the Most Valuable Player award with 24 points for the West, but most of his nine dunks were uncontested, including a few where he was blatantly cherry-picking.

"I wasn't looking at it as a matchup really," said Kentucky recruit Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), who was charged with guarding Gordon at times. "I was just out there trying to have fun and make sure everybody got the ball. On Aaron, you have to stay on his dribble and not go for the fakes, but in a real game, you would also have to get back on defense."

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Gordon's aerial display

Gordon usually doesn't get fancy around the basket. His game is simple -- slam at every opportunity and make everyone else get out of the way.

On one breakaway, he attempted a tricky between-the-legs move only to miss the dunk then sheepishly dunk it with a standard two-hand drop-in. He had eight rebounds to go along with his 24 points.

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"I was just trying to focus on the basic points of the game," Gordon said. "Coming out for the game, I was thinking that I was at the highest point I could be at this time."

The MVP win concluded a big week for Gordon, who committed to Arizona on Tuesday.

Hall (High) of fame

Only Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) had a girls and boys player at McDonald's. In the girls game, Tyler Scaife, who is headed to Rutgers, had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists, including several of the spectacular kind. Portis, who has signed with Arkansas, scored 10 of his 12 points int he first half. Hall has won 12 state basketball championships, including 10 by the boys team.

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Martin had his moments

One of the more unheralded players at the game, as much as any McDonald's All American can be unheralded, was Jarell Martin of Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.), who had 10 points and three rebounds. Martin didn't begin playing varsity basketball until he was a junior. He led the Chargers to the state Class B title and was named Louisiana's Mr. Basketball. The 6-9 Martin averaged 26.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 4.1 blocked shots for Madison Prep.

 

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