In the boys game on Tuesday night in Houston, D.J. Wagner, the first McDonald’s All-American of third generation, led Team East to a come-from-behind win of 109-106.
The Camden (New Jersey) native was voted co-MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game alongside Isaiah Collier after scoring all 19 of his points in the second half. With 35 seconds remaining, Wagner’s transition dunk gave side East a 107-106 lead. The future Kentucky Wildcat then scored two free throws after Collier, who was headed to USC, missed a pair, to give his side a late three-point advantage.
24 of the top high school athletes in the nation participated in the annual all-star game. Wagner and Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, from Sierra Canyon in California were two of the main performers.
Both Wagner’s father Dajuan and his grandpa Milt were McDonald’s All-American picks. LeBron James participated in the event and won the slam dunk competition back in 2003, and he was there Tuesday night.
Bronny James, the game’s lone uncommitted player, scored five 3-pointers for a total of 15 points. With 1:20 left in the game, his last triple gave Team West a 106-105 lead, but Wagner’s heroics gave Team East the victory in the thrilling game.
Team West stormed out to a 17-6 lead early on thanks to 10 points and an assist from Wheeler, Georgia’s Collier. James scored two 3-pointers to make it 28-12, but Aden Holloway of Prolific Prep in California, an Auburn signee, helped Team East get within eight points at 34-26 going into the second quarter.
As the two teams swapped blows in the second, James blasted another triple. At halftime, Team West was up 60–51.
Late in the third, a putback by Wagner reduced the score to 79-77, but Team West rallied to lead 85-78 going into the fourth. Midway through the fourth quarter, Team East eventually took the lead at 99-98 thanks to a two-handed slam from future Kansas Jayhawk Elmarko Jackson after five consecutive points by Wagner, including a transition dunk, had brought the score to 96-95. (South Kent School, Connecticut).
Despite finishing with 25 points, three rebounds, and two assists, Collier only made 5 of 12 free throw attempts, including two crucial ones with 12.8 seconds left in the game.
At the buzzer, Team West had a chance to tie it, but California’s Jared McCain of Centennial missed a three-point attempt.