Tuesday, the annual roster for the McDonald’s All-American team features an upcoming Ohio State women’s basketball freshman. After three of the 2024 incoming class were nominated, guard Jaloni Cambridge made the cut for one of the final 24 spots, according to MaxPreps.
On Dec. 29, 2023, the Buckeyes earned the verbal commitment of the No. 1 point guard, and No. 3 overall ranked, of the 2024 recruiting class. Also, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame named Cambridge a part of its midseason girls team of the year. On top of all that, Cambridge is now set to be the 14th McDonald’s All-American in the scarlet and gray women’s program history.
Cambridge ends a five-year run of no Ohio State recruits represented in the annual basketball showcase, featuring the best amateur players in the country on one team before heading off to college. The last was in 2019, with Canton McKinley (Canton, Ohio) guard Kierstan Bell. The guard ultimately transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University after one season and currently plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA.
Once Cambridge becomes a signed commit, she’ll follow Buckeyes legends whose names are littered throughout the Buckeyes’ history books who also played in the McDonald’s game. Players like guard Kelsey Mitchell, guard Samantha Prahalis and forward Jantel Lavender. Each leaving an impact in the program and at the professional level.
Included in the initial list of over 350 nominees were two signed 2024 commits: Forward Ella Hobbs of North Carolina and guard Ava Watson of Georgia.
This year's McDonald’s All-American Game airs April 2, 2024, live on ESPN2. Cambridge and the group of All-Americans play the 2024 edition of the showcase at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
At the event will be three-point shooting, slam dunk and team shooting events. While the 5-foot-7 Cambridge likely won’t be in the slam dunk contest, three women have won the event in the past, like Tennessee Volunteers and WNBA legend Candace Parker. The shooting event features girls and boys playing alongside past McDonald’s All-Americans.
The game is the feature event of the weekend. It pits the 24 girls against each other in an East vs. West format. At the end of the weekend, an MVP is named from the game.
Since the McDonald’s All-American event started, for boys in 1978 and girls in 2002, Columbus hosted once, in 2010. That was the lone year any Buckeye, man or woman, won a share of the MVP award. That was forward Jared Sullinger, who coincidentally enough won it in his hometown in 2010.
However, head coach Kevin McGuff’s Buckeyes have played against former MVP winners from the illustrious event. Former Columbus-area forward Jordan Horston won in 2019 before playing with the Tennessee Volunteers for four seasons. This year, Ohio State faced the 2023 Co-MVP in USC guard JuJu Watkins.