EAST LANSING – All three of Michigan State's 2021 recruits have been nominated to be a McDonald's All-American.
Max Christie, Pierre Brooks II, and Jaden Akins will compete for the honor, but unlike in years past, there will not be an all-star game due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The final rosters, celebrating 48 student-athletes, will be finalized before the end of February.
"Even during an unprecedented year, we were so impressed seeing high school athletes continuing to celebrate the game we all love ... Recognizing that many of these student-athletes had their senior seasons altered or shortened, we wanted to honor them for their skill and dedication to the game of basketball," McDonald's All American Games Selection Committee Chairman Joe Wootten said in a press release. "While we're disappointed, we can't hold an in-person Games this year, that does not take away from the accomplishments of this class, and they will forever be a part of the legendary group of past and present McDonald's All Americans."
Michigan State signed Christie, Brooks, and Akins on Nov. 11; together, they form a top-10 class nationally (No. 2 in the Big Ten).
Akins, a 6-foot-3 point guard, committed to MSU on Aug. 13, 2020, and may play a significant role next year considering the Spartans issues at his position.
"He's got phenomenal athletic ability, he has the ability to shoot it from long range, but he can get into the paint any time he wants it ... I think he's going to be a good offensive player and a good defensive player. He too was a bit unappreciated in our state, but as last spring went on and this fall, he's risen up in a lot of people's minds," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said on signing day.
At 6-foot-6, Christie is a player Michigan State can use at multiple spots on the floor. He is the highest-ranked prospect of the three and a top-20 overall prospect in the 2021 cycle.
"Max can play the point; he can play the two, he can play the three, he can be a passer and distributor, he can be a scorer, he can be a rebounder," said Izzo. "I think his length and his range make him a very valuable player. He is a very good athlete who I think is going to get better and better as he gets more and more into it. He's a great facilitator."
Brooks committed to Michigan State in April of 2020, officially ending his recruitment and becoming a Spartan. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound forward is the third-best recruit in his home state (No. 12 small forward in the 2021 class).
"Pierre is one of my favorites because he was the first to commit. He started the ball rolling ... he's built like a linebacker. He has toughness. Maybe like all three of them, this kid has probably worked as hard as anyone I've known," Izzo said. "He's probably come the farthest. Everyone said he can't do this or can't do that, and pretty soon, he's playing better and better. I think Pierre Brooks has a chance to have a phenomenal career here because of the things we value; toughness, the ability to shoot the ball from long, long-range, play multiple positions."
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