Basketball standouts Isaiah Bess of Hampden Academy, Aaron Calixte of Lee Academy and Dustin Cole of Bonny Eagle High School in Standish have been nominated for the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Games.
Nearly 1,000 players from 44 states and the District of Columbia were nominated for the games, which annually feature the nation’s top high school senior players. Ohio boasted the highest number of nominees this year (121), followed by Texas (97), Iowa (72), New York (63) and New Jersey (56).
Players were nominated by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All-American Games selection committee.
Bess, a 6-foot-4-inch wing, is averaging 14.4 points per game this winter in helping Hampden Academy to a 14-0 record good for first place in Eastern Maine Class A. Bess transferred to Hampden last summer after leading Penquis Valley of Milo to the 2013 Class C state championship. Bess scored more than 1,000 points while at Penquis and last winter was named to the Bangor Daily News All-Maine first team.
Bess will continue his basketball career next year on scholarship at Division II Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.
Cole, a 5-foot-9 guard, was a first-team BDN All-Maine selection after last season and has led Bonny Eagle to a 13-1 record in Western Maine Class A so far this winter. He has guided the Scots to the regional championship game in each of his first three high school seasons.
Cole, the leading scorer in Bonny Eagle history, will continue his basketball career on scholarship next year at Division II Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, N.H.
Calixte, a 5-foot-11 point guard, is in his second year playing for the Lee Academy postgraduate team after scoring more than 1,000 points during a three-year career at Stoughton (Mass.) High School. He transferred to Lee after the 2011-12 school year and reclassified to the class of 2014.
The final rosters of 24 boys and 24 girls who will be selected to play in the 2014 games will be announced during the McDonald’s All-American Games Selection Show on ESPNU at 6 p.m. next Thursday, with the games scheduled for April 2 at the United Center in Chicago, Ill.
Net proceeds from the games will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. The games have raised more than $10 million for RMHC since 1978.