Jordan Brown, a 6-foot-11 senior for Prolific Prep Academy of Napa, was named to the 2018 McDonald’s All American Games, one of the top all-star events in the country each year.
Brown, who transferred from Woodcreek High School-Roseville after his junior year, is on the West team roster for the 41st annual boys games. The McDonald’s All American Games are March 28 at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Playing the forward and center positions, Brown is averaging 23.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game for Prolific Prep, which plays a national tournament schedule.
Brown was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA preseason team for the 2017-18 season, USA TODAY High School Sports announced in late November.
He averaged 26.3 points and 15.8 rebounds per game last year, leading Woodcreek to a 32-3 record and to CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and CIF Northern California Open Division championships. He was named as The Sacramento Bee Player of the Year and a MaxPreps.com second team All-American last year.
“It’s just really a huge accomplishment for him,” said Billy McKnight, Prolific Prep’s head coach. “There’s 24 guys who make it in the country. Any time you’re talking about a guy who makes that team … anytime you’re in that discussion, it’s an unbelievable feat.
“A lot of the credit goes to his parents and the previous programs that he’s played for and the previous coaches that he’s played for, because we really just haven’t had him all that long.”
KemperLesnik Marketing of Illinois will present Brown, 18, with his McDonald’s All American Games jersey as part of the McDonald’s All American Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance, which honors all 24 boys and 24 girls selected for the prestigious event.
A ceremony honoring Brown is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Napa Christian Campus of Education. All 15 players for Prolific Prep, which is now in its fourth year, attend Napa Christian Campus of Education, a Seventh-day Adventist school.
“It’s a true blessing just being able to say that I’m one of those guys, because there are many people before me that have played in that game, that have gone on to do great things,” Brown said at a practice for the Crew last week at Grace Church of Napa Valley. “Just being able to see that I’m able to follow in those footsteps means a lot.
“It’s a big game. I’ve watched it the past four or five years and just being able to see the way everyone competes in that game, just wanting to go at it with the other top guys, it should be fun.”
Brown is having a good season for Prolific Prep, which plays in The Grind Session, a circuit of elite national high school basketball events throughout the winter.
He set a single-game tournament record with 20 rebounds at the Lighthouse Classic (Mississippi) and was voted Grind Session Player of the Week during the first week of the season.
He was selected to the Marshall County (Kentucky) Hoopfest All-Tournament team after scoring 30 points and getting 19 rebounds in the first game.
“I think it’s been a pretty good year, having that transition from a regular high school to a prep school and playing against more college-ready kids and just being able to increase the competition that I play against, I think, has been good for me,” said Brown.
He said it was a difficult decision to leave Woodcreek. But playing for Prolific Prep, he said, is allowing him to focus on getting ready to play college basketball. He has scholarship offers from UC Berkeley, UCLA, St. John’s, Oregon and Nevada. Brown has made official visits to UCLA and St. John’s.
“We had three strong years at Woodcreek, especially being able to make it all the way to state,” he said. “I can’t just focus on accomplishments in high school. Coming here has really helped me develop my game for being ready for when I go off to college. I think it’s really helped me mature my game. A lot of people back home understand why I left and they support it.”
Brown’s dad, Dion Brown, who is originally from Birmingham, Alabama, played in college for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a power forward.
Josh Jackson and Gary Trent Jr. are former Prolific Prep players who were selected for the McDonald’s All American Games. Jackson is a rookie for the Phoenix Suns and Trent is a freshman at Duke.
“Being able to follow what they’ve done is a great feeling,” said Brown. “It’s been a lot of hard work in the gym. Last year, I was going through some things with my shot. But we worked on it, spent time in the gym, and now my shot feels better than ever. I’ve gotten comfortable.”
Brown played on the gold-medal winning team for the USA at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain.
He played on the 2015 USA National Team, which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.
He was named as a finalist for the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team.
He attended the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team minicamp in October at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“He passes the ball really well and he’s got great footwork down low,” said McKnight. “I think he’s learned that when double teams are coming, he’s got to make the right play.”
Brown is the only player from California on the West team for the McDonald’s All American Games. The West team’s head coach is Brad Lauwers of A.J. Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska.
The McDonald’s All American Games for boys, which will be carried by ESPN, features players from 17 states.
This year marks the 17th year of the McDonald’s All American Games for girls.
“The 48 players selected for the 2018 McDonald’s All American Games represent the future of basketball,” Morgan Wootten, the McDonald’s All American Games selection committee chairman, said in a press release. “…we look forward to hosting the Games in Atlanta and providing the players with the opportunity to show the entire country their tremendous talent.”
This year’s teams were selected from more than 700 nominees by the selection committee, according to a press release.