For the third straight year, an Illinois men's basketball recruit will not play in the McDonald's All-American game.
The prestigious high school boys basketball game will take place at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, at Chicago's United Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Class of 2013 signees Austin Colbert, Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn were all nominees for the game, but did not wind up on the final 24-man roster (12 each for the East squad and the West squad).
One player from Illinois did make the team, and it was no surprise. Nunn's teammate at Chicago Simeon, Jabari Parker, a Duke commit, will play on the West roster.
A former Illinois recruiting target, Demetrius Jackson, wound on the East squad.
The point guard from South Bend, Ind., had Illinois among his final two schools before choosing Notre Dame last September.
There is a slight Illinois connection with the game since Tracy Abrams' high school head coach, Mike Flaherty of Chicago Mt. Carmel, will coach the West squad.
The last McDonald's All-American who played at Illinois didn't have the most distinguished career.
Waukegan's Jereme Richmond made the 2010 squad, but only lasted one season in Champaign before declaring for the NBA Draft, only to never get drafted before running into legal troubles.
Parker's selection ends a one-year absence where an Illinois prep player did not get invited to play in the game.
The Land of Lincoln has had 61 prep players get selected to the game since the game's inception in 1977.
Of the 61, 12 have gone on to play at Illinois, with the Illini enjoying its best stretch of McDonald's All-Americans from 1985 until 1992 in which Lowell Hamilton (1985), Nick Anderson (1986), Marcus LIberty (1987), Deon Thomas (1989) and Richard Keene (1992) all participated in the game.
Illinois had recruits in the game for three straight years from 1997-99 with Marcus Griffin (1997), Frank Williams (1998) and Brian Cook (1999), but did not have another one until Dee Brown played in the 2002 game.
All told, Illinois has had 13 McDonald's All-Americans, with Derek Harper — the lone out-of-state McDonald's All-American from West Palm Beach, Fla. — playing in the 1980 game.
On the women's side, none of the six Illinois recruits Matt Bollant signed last November made the game, which will take place at 6 p.m. on April 3 at the United Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Chicago Whitney Young guard LInnae Harper, a Kentucky recruit, is the only Illinois prep player on this year's squad.
She'll play for the West, which will be coached by Bolingbrook head coach Anthony Smith, who has a senior guard in Kennedy Cattenhead who will play at Illinois next year.