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McDonald’s All-American Games come to South Bend

Matt Lozar | Wednesday, December 8, 2004

About a year ago, the South Bend Regional Sports Commission started exploring the idea of bringing the McDonald’s’ All-American Games to South Bend.The group’s hopes were to bring the event to the area a couple of years down the road.Tuesday, it was announcing ticket sales.Along with former NBA first-round pick and Notre Dame great LaPhonso Ellis and the McDonald’s Corporation, the commission kicked off ticket sales for the 28th annual McDonald’s All-American high school games to be held at the Joyce Center on March 30, 2005.”It is absolutely amazing how incredibly quick how things came together, South Bend Regional Sports Commission chairman Thom Villing said at Tuesday’s press conference. “Little did we know the stars would converge as they did, and we were awarded the games.”Ellis was a McDonald’s All-American in 1988 before playing for four years in South Bend. Ellis currently sits in first place on the all-time Irish career blocks list, third in all-time rebounds and 13th in all-time scoring. When selected as an All-American in 1988, Ellis said his life was shaped more by what happened the day before than on the court in Albuquerque, N. M. that weekend.”The day before we had a special opportunity to do something different. We visited some of the children who benefit from all the proceeds from the McDonald’s All-American Game,” Ellis said. “As a 34-year old husband and father of four, that charitable aspect of who I am was planted back in 1988 by the McDonald’s Corporation and its charities.” Past participants in the game include Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Notre Dame’s Chris Thomas and Courtney LaVere.The PowerAde Jam Fest will be held on Monday, March 28 at Bethel College and was won in 2004 by Candace Parker, the first time a female ever won that event. Tickets for the All-American game, ranging from $25 to $100, are available by phone, at the Notre Dame ticket office or online. Separate tickets are needed for the JamFest and are available at the Bethel College box office and by phone. Proceeds for the event will go directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Bend and Fort Wayne.