Brandon McCoy (almost) Chicago’s McDonald’s All-American

Brandon McCoy (44) watches the McDonald's All American slam dunk contest at Keating Sports at IIT campus 03-27-17. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

Brandon McCoy, a 6-11 McDonald’s All-American, grew up in K-Town on the West Side. He went to Frazier International Elementary and was all set to attend Fenwick for high school, but then his mother decided that it would be best to leave Chicago.

McCoy moved to San Diego and attended Cathedral Catholic. He averaged 29 points, 13 rebounds and five assists per game this past season. There isn’t a local representative in this year’s McDonald’s All-American game, so McCoy drew a crowd at Tuesday’s media day. It didn’t take him long to give an example of why he had to leave Chicago.

“Ed Brown,” McCoy said. “He was one of my biggest role models growing up. I was just crazy to see someone doing so well have his life taken away.”

Brown, a promising 25-year-old boxer, was shot and killed near Kedzie and Warren in early December. He was 20-0 with 16 knockouts in his short career.

McCoy was a boxer himself. He started in fourth grade but gave it up when he moved to California for high school.

“When [Brown] got killed it touched me deeply, that was like a big brother to me,” McCoy said. “I have to [succeed] for him and all the other ones that won’t get this chance.”

McCoy says he wasn’t on track to be a McDonald’s All-American when he left Chicago. He was just six-feet tall.

“It was a long process,” McCoy said. “Blood, sweat and tears. I worked really hard. It was just a better life [in California].”

McCoy attended the prestigious All-Star game before he moved away, but never imagined he’d return to Chicago to play in it.

“I’m just thankful,” McCoy said. “Some people playing expected to be here. I didn’t approach it like that. To be in the game is just awesome.”

McCoy is on the West Team with the star attraction of the event, Michael Porter Jr.

Porter, a 6-10 small forward, is ESPN’s top ranked player in the country. He averaged 38 points, 15 rebounds and five assists this season at Nathan Hale in Seattle, Washington. Porter originally signed with Washington, but received his release last week. He’s now committed to Missouri and new coach Cuonzo Martin.

Porter is originally from Missouri, he spent his first three years of high school there. And Martin has hired Porter’s father, Michael Porter, Sr. as an assistant coach.

Another possible future star to keep an eye on during Wednesday’s game is 7-0 center Deandre Ayton. He’s’s top-ranked player in the 2017 class. The only player signed with a Big Ten school is Jaron Jackson Jr., a Michigan State recruit.

2017 McDonald’s All-American Game rosters

East Team
Name, Position, Height, High School (Location), College
Mohamed Bamba, C, 6-11, Westton School (West Chester, PA), Undecided
Wendell Carter Jr., PF, 6-9, Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA), Duke
Trevon Duval, PG, 6-3, IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL), Undecided
Quade Green, PG, 6-1, Neumann Goretti (Philadephia, PA), Kentucky
Kevin Knox II, SF, 6-8, Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL), Undecided
Nicholas Richards, C, 6-11, The Patrick School (Hillside, NJ), Kentucky
Mitchell Robinson, C, 6-11, Chalmette (Chalmette, LA), Western Kentucky
Collin Sexton, SG, 6-3, Pebblebrook (Mableton, GA), Alabama
Jarred Vanderbilt, PF, 6-8, Victory Prep (Houston, TX), Kentucky
Lonnie Walker IV, SG, 6-4, Reading (Reading, PA), Miami
PJ Washington Jr., PF, 6-8, Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV), Kentucky
Kris Wilkes, SF, 6-7, North Central (Indianapolis, IN), UCLA

West Team
Name, Position, Height, High School (Location), College
Deandre Ayton, C, 7-0, Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, AZ), Arizona
Brian Bowen II, SF, 6-7, La Lumiere (La Porte, IN), Undecided
Troy Brown Jr., SF, 6-7, Centennial (Las Vegas, NV), Oregon
Jaylen Hands, PG, 6-3, Foothills Christian (El Cajon, CA), UCLA
Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, 6-11, La Lumiere (La Porte, IN), Michigan State
Brandon McCoy, C, 6-11, Cathedral (San Diego, CA), Undecided
Chuck O’Bannon Jr., SF, 6-6, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), USC
Michael Porter Jr., SF, 6-10, Nathan Hale (Seattle, WA), Missouri
Billy Preston, PF, 6-10, Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, VA), USC
Gary Trent Jr., SG, 6-5, Prolific Prep (Napa, CA), Duke
MJ Walker, SG, 6-5, Jonesboro (Jonesboro, GA), Undecided
Trae Young, PG, 6-2, Norman North (Norman, OK), Oklahoma



  • Stanley Thomas

    Not almost Chicago only all American cause this is where he’s from. Cali is not home for this kid.

  • Shield

    Brandon McCoy on this years and last years Fenwick teams would have been crazy. Can’t imagine they would not have gone back-to-back. Also would’ve given Jamal Nixon an opportunity to develop as a guard instead of as an undersize big man. Would’ve been fun to watch.
    McCoy also definitely would have finished better in the proviso west tourney last year when cathedral made the trip lol.

  • Chris

    Its a sad day when Western Kentucky signs as many All-Americans as all the Big 10 school combined…smh

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