High School Sports

‘It’s a great honor for our high school.’ Federal Way’s Jaden McDaniels receives McDonald’s All-American jersey

Federal Way High School five-star forward Jaden McDaniels received his McDonald’s All-American Game jersey Tuesday afternoon as family, administrators, coaches, teammates and classmates cheered.

The 6-foot-11 senior, who is the consensus No. 5 player in the nation in the 2019 class, is the first player from Federal Way to ever be selected to play in the annual high school all-star game, which began in 1978. This year’s game is set for March 27 in Atlanta.

He is the 14th boys basketball player from Washington to be selected to play in the game, and first since Nathan Hale’s Michael Porter Jr. in 2017. Porter was selected by the Denver Nuggets in last year’s NBA Draft.

“I just want to thank my parents, the coaching staff at Federal Way for always pushing me, and my teammates, and also thank my family for everything they’ve done for me,” McDaniels said to the crowd in Federal Way’s commons.

McDaniels is averaging a team-leading 23.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, four assists and two blocks per game entering his fourth consecutive trip to the Tacoma Dome for the Class 4A state tournament.

Federal Way (24-2) plays the Mount Rainier-Richland winner at 12:15 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“Entering his freshman year, it was very clear to our coaching staff and anyone who knew the game of basketball that he had the skills to become a great high school basketball player,” Federal Way coach Yattah Reed said.

“It wasn’t until Jaden’s junior year that all of the pieces of the puzzle began to come together for him, and he was able to soar with the confidence and emotional resilience to perform to the best of his abilities on the biggest stages nationally that the high school level can offer.”

McDaniels is a two-time 4A NPSL Olympic MVP, two time TNT All-Area selection and reigning all-state pick by TNT and the Associated Press.

He helped the Eagles to a state title in 2016 and a runner-up finish in last year’s tournament. He has won four 4A NPSL titles, two 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict titles and 105 total games at Federal Way.

Earlier this season, he set Federal Way’s single-game scoring record, dropping a career-high 51 points in a win over Todd Beamer.

McDaniels has narrowed his college choices to San Diego State (where his older brother Jalen plays), Kentucky, Texas, UCLA and Washington.

“This is a great honor for Jaden, it’s a great honor for our high school, our basketball program and also our community,” Reed said. “He has set the bar at the highest level for the next generation to strive for.”

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.