Franklin’s Luke Kennard during practice for the 2015 McDonald’s All American Game in Chicago.
Luke Kennard will realize a dream Wednesday in Chicago.
Kennard arrived in the Windy City Saturday afternoon in preparation for the McDonald’s All American Game Wednesday night at the United Center.
Wednesday is the first of three all-star games for Kennard this month around the country.
The Franklin senior guard and Duke signee repeated as Associated Press Ohio Mr. Basketball last week and will certainly be a focal point this week to represent the state.
“I’m so excited for the McDonald’s All American Game next week,” Kennard tweeted Friday.
Kennard is one of just 24 players nationally that was selected in late January for the 38th annual McDonald’s All American Boys Game at the United Center. The game will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday.
“I think it’s a unique opportunity that puts him in elite company with some of the best that ever played the game,” Franklin coach Brian Bales said Saturday.
Kennard was selected to the prestigious game during a live ESPNU announcement on Jan. 28 that was viewed with his teammates, coaches, family and friends at A&G Pizza in Franklin.
He was left speechless at the time.
Kennard has watched the game several times over the years. He said in late January being picked to the McDonald’s Game was No. 1 or No. 2 on his career achievements.
“For all young basketball players I’d say that’s an ultimate goal for every player in the nation,” Kennard said in January. “It finally came to me and I am excited about it.”
Bales is looking forward to the week and plans to arrive in Chicago on Monday night to watch Kennard in the 3-point contest of the Powerade Jam Fest at the University of Chicago.
“It will be a proud moment for me,” Bales said. “I would not miss it for the world.”
Kennard will participate in a practice Monday morning. He is one of two Ohio players selected for this year’s game.
Kennard is on the East squad while Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph power forward Carlton Bragg (Kansas signee) is on the West.
Kennard is scheduled to participate in the 3-point contest portion of the Powerade Jam Fest on Monday night. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be shown live on ESPN2 starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Kennard averaged 38.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.2 steals for Franklin (26-2), which was a Division II regional runner-up this month.
Kennard is the first area male boys’ basketball player selected to the McDonald’s All American Game since Hamilton’s Chris Kingsbury and Woodward’s Damon Flint in 1993. O.J. Mayo, a former North College Hill standout from 2004-06, was selected while he was with Huntington (W. Va.) Prep in 2007.
Withrow’s Rick Calloway was selected in 1985.
Princeton’s Kelsey Mitchell, now an Ohio State standout, played in the Girls Game in 2014 in Chicago. There have been several other female players including Middletown Madison’s Ally Malott (2011), Lakota West’s Amber Gray (2008), Mount Notre Dame’s Mel Thomas (2004) and Princeton’s Dee Davis (2003).
Kennard is also scheduled to play in the Nike Hoop Summit April 11 at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., and the Jordan Brand Classic April 17 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.