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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Julius Randle added to McDonald's game

By Dave Telep

It has been an eventful couple of weeks for ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian). First, he returned to the court three weeks ago after being out since November with a fractured foot. Then on Monday he announced he would make his college decision March 20.

And on Wednesday, the McDonald's All American Games announced Randle has been added to the McDonald's roster as a 25th player. He will suit up for the East squad in the game, which will be played April 3 at the United Center in Chicago and televised live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Julius Randle
Julius Randle was added to the McDonald's All American roster on Wednesday.
The McDonald’s All American Games released the following statement: “Today, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee is pleased to name Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian Academy to the 2013 McDonald’s All American Team. As promised, we’ve been closely monitoring Randle’s play since his return to the court in February, and it’s been an inspiring return to watch. Randle has not only proven that he is capable of competing at the highest level, but truly deserving of the title McDonald’s All American.”

Why did this happen and what does it mean?

For one, the McDonald’s All American Game pumped up its frontcourt in a big way with Randle's addition. He did not initially make the game due to his injury and the fact he had not played since November at the time the McDonald's rosters were selected. However, leading his team to a state championship with a series of impressive double-doubles since his return were enough to demonstrate his health and ability to participate in the all-star game.

If there was any doubt about Randle’s health since his return, the following numbers are not a misprint: He recorded 40 points and 15 rebounds in the semifinals and 34 points and 22 boards in the state finals.

While unique, Randle’s late addition is not unprecedented. Derrick Whittenberg in 1979 and Sam Perkins in 1980 were both late additions to the game. For what it’s worth, both of those guys went on to win national championships in college.

Can Randle keep the streak alive? On March 20 he'll announce his college decision live on ESPNU. Randle is down to Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Florida, NC State and Oklahoma. The Sooners, despite being the alma mater of one of Randle’s mentors, are considered an extreme long shot.

“There’s so many good schools out there,” said Jeff Webster, a former OU All-American and adviser to Randle. “It really comes down to just where Julius wants to live, what coach he wants to play for.”