It’s an alliteration of the ages: Federal Way High School senior Jaden McDaniels was awarded McDonald’s All American.
McDaniels was presented with the McDonald’s jersey on Feb. 26 at Federal Way High School.
The 6 foot 11 senior will compete in the McDonald’s All American Games March 27 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Since 1978, McDonalds has been investing in the sport of basketball. This All-American award is only given to 24 boys and 24 girls high school athletes each year across the nation.
A few other recipients of this award include Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
“Building a program like this doesn’t happen overnight,” said Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell of Federal Way’s success.
“You’ve got big talent in that body of yours, but you have a humble spirit,” Campbell said to McDaniels. “ … That’s going to go a long way in this world.”
The award, said FWHS principal Dr. Matt Oberst, is visible proof that hard work pays off.
McDaniels, No. five recruit in the nation according to 247 Sports, averages 22 points and more than 10 rebounds a game. He also set a new school record, scoring 51 points in a single game on senior night earlier this year.
During his time playing for the Eagles, he’s become a four-time league champ, two-time West Central District champ and has had four WIAA state basketball appearances with a first-place finish in 2016, second place in 2018, and third place in 2019.
He’s won more than 105 career games in a Federal Way Eagles jersey.
With such a decorated resume on the court, why does this stand out?
“Because it doesn’t happen to everybody every day,” McDaniels told the Mirror. “You have to be selected and not a lot of people get selected to do this every year. It feels like it’s a big deal.”
“I was really excited, but I couldn’t show my reaction because I was in class,” he said with a smile. “I was super excited because it’s always something I’ve wanted to be a part of.”
As for his future, McDaniels has his sights set on competing at a higher level.
“Hopefully being drafted to the NBA … that’s my next dream,” McDaniels said.
There’s still an anxious wait for which university McDaniels will announce his commitment to; his top five options are University of Washington, San Diego State University, University of Kentucky, University of Texas and University of California, Los Angeles.