WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The McDonald’s All-American Game, which has featured some of the most elite basketball talents since its inception 45 years ago, released its Class of 2022 roster, which features two Kansas players.
Gradey Dick, a Kansas Jayhawks signee from Wichita, was featured on the roster, as well as Lansing, Kansas’ Mark Mitchell, who is currently committed to Duke. Both play basketball at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, one of the premier prep schools in the nation and currently ranked number one in the country.
“Where does he get his skill? Definitely his mother,” said Bart Dick, Gradey’s dad. “I enjoy watching him work hard and then see all that hard work pay off from when he was little to where he is right now.”
The two players are ranked one and two in the state of Kansas. Both are rated as 5-star players according to the 247Sports composite rankings, which takes an average ranking from the three main recruiting services, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN.
Sunrise Christian Academy Head Coach Luke Barnwell hopes both players will continue to grow on and off the court.
“They’re both playing at a high level,” said Barnwell. “We talk about character a lot in the sense of like this game doesn’t matter. This game doesn’t make your character.”
Barnwell says both will do well at the next level.
“But really what is special to me this year is more of, Gradey’s ours. He’s from Wichita so the state and city should celebrate him,” said Barnwell. “And Mark is ours, he’s from Lansing Kansas. So these are Kansas guys who are playing at the highest level of high school basketball. Gradey’s leading our league in scoring and Mark’s second in scoring. Mark’s third in rebounding. So these Kansas boys are really playing well at a higher level.”
Mitchell committed to Duke in December of 2021. On top of his Duke offer, he also holds offers from Kansas, UCLA, Arkansas and others. According to 247Sports, he holds 15 different offers from schools across the nation.
“I was pretty confident that I would make it,” Mitchell said. “I think I’ve done enough over the years, even though some people may not agree with that, I think most of the basketball community was pretty content on me being an All-American.”
“It’s an honor, you know, you work very hard all these years, just watching the McDonald’s (All-American) Game, just seeing all, everyone you looked up to make it, so you just want to be a part of the game,” said Mitchell of how it feels to be named an All-American.
Mitchell is ranked as the number 10 player in the country, and the first in Kansas. Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting at 247Sports, compares his game to Al-Farouq Aminu, who played for six different NBA teams over his 10-year career. Meyer projects Mitchell to go in the first round. Here is his breakdown:
“Has a quality physical build for a combo forward. Has long arms, plays with a motor, and is a terrific two-foot jumper. Has functional athleticism. Explosive in a crowd. Does most of his damage around the basket as a slasher, post-up player, and rebounder. Can stretch the defense with three-point range but isn’t a strength. Can switch direction on the drive and can attack and finish with either hand as a natural lefty. Solid and versatile defender. Tough on the boards. Not known as a playmaker for others but does have a feel for the game. Fits the mold of the athletic and versatile combo forward.”
Dick committed to Kansas on Mar. 3, 2021, and signed his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 10. He is rated as the number 24 player in the nation and second in the state of Kansas. As a recruit, he held offers from Kansas, Baylor, Alabama, Creighton, and more.
“I was pretty confident that I was going to be on the roster,” Dick told KSN.
When asked about what he feels the best part of his game is, Dick believes his game will work in different ways at the next level.
“Just my overall versatility is really helping me with different things I do on the court,” Dick said. “I feel like a good thing I can work on is defense, cause you can defensively better.”
Here is what Brandon Jenkins, a recruiting analyst with 247Sports, said about Dick’s abilities on the court:
“A long and lean shooter with a strong basketball IQ and great size for the wing position, Dick is a knock-down shooter that demands the defense’s attention. He is one of the better shooters in the country as he demonstrates a stroke behind the arc that has been impressive. He is a good athlete who is more bouncy than the eye test would lead you to believe. He competes to win and his future as a spot-up shooter is what excites college coaches. His skillset gives him a great chance at being an immediate contributor on the offensive end of the floor for a high major program.”
On top of Dick, the Jayhawks have commitments from two more players listed on the roster.
Ernest Udeh, a 5-star center out of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, signed with Bill Self’s program in Nov. 2021. He is one of the top 30 players in the country and the number nine player in Florida.
In addition to Udeh, Kansas also signed MJ Rice, a 5-star forward from Prolific Prep in Napa, California. He is the number 25 player in the country, and fourth in the state of California.
The McDonald’s All-American Game will take place in Chicago this coming March. Other notable players who have been featured in the game are players like Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and plenty others.