Booker named a McDonald’s All-American

The 6’11 senior is the second player to receive this honor in school history

Going+up+for+a+dunk+at+a+home+game%2C+Xavier+Booker+currently+averages+13.5+ppg+and+8.6+rebounds.

Going up for a dunk at a home game, Xavier Booker currently averages 13.5 ppg and 8.6 rebounds.

Luke Spencer, Managing Editor/Sports Editor

The McDonald’s All-American game is quite possibly the most popular and prestigious event for high school basketball players. Over 900,000 players across the country compete for their respective schools, but from that pool, only 48 players are selected to play in the game. 24 boys and 24 girls.

The participants for the 2023 game were announced on Jan. 24, and senior Xavier Booker was among the 24 boys chosen to compete.

Booker’s selection shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the amount of hype that has surrounded the 6’10 forward over the past few months. After having a stellar spring and summer playing with his AAU team, George Hill All Indy, Booker shot up the rankings and became a consensus top 10 recruit on all recruiting websites. 

With this ranking came offers from top tier collegiate programs such as Duke, Gonzaga, and defending national champion Kansas. Booker committed to Michigan State on July 30, a program that is consistently in the top 25 nationally under Head Coach Tom Izzo. 

Even with his recruitment closed, all eyes have been on Booker since the beginning of the high school season in November. The team began the season ranked in the top 30 in the country by MaxPreps and they were a favorite to repeat as State Champions.

The team now stands at 12-3 (as of Jan. 26), having suffered losses to Ben Davis, Simeon (Chicago), and, most recently, Crispus Attucks in the City Championship game.They stand at 40th in the country according to MaxPreps with seven regular season games remaining.

Booker has had a successful season, as he ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 13 points per game along with leading the team in rebounds and blocks per game. He was announced as a nominee for the All-American game on Jan. 11, along with 700 players from across the country, including four of his teammates. Seniors Jaron Tibbs, Jake Davis, Sincere Germany and Kamari Slaughter were also nominated. 

Booker is the second player in Cathedral history to be named a McDonald’s All-American, joining Mr. Ken Barlow ‘82. Barlow went on to play at Notre Dame before being selected 23rd overall in the 1986 NBA Draft. Barlow opted to play overseas instead, and he enjoyed a 16 year career in Europe. 

This year’s game will be played in Houston, Texas on March 28, after the conclusion of the high school season. Booker will compete as part of the East team against the boys from the west, which includes his future teammate Jeremy Fears.