CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — For a high school basketball player ranked ninth on ESPN's 2021 rankings, a selection to the McDonald's All-American game is almost expected. But for a southern Oregon-native, it's unprecedented.
Nathan Bittle, a 6-foot-11 center and University of Oregon commit is the first southern Oregonian to be playing for the prestigious team since South Medford's Kyle Singler in 2007. Bittle played three seasons at Crater High School before transferring to Prolific Prep in California when the Oregon basketball season was canceled (it has since been postponed to start in late spring of 2021).
Former McDonald's All-American selections include Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Love and Anthony Davis.
Due to the pandemic though, the 2021 McDonald's All-American game will not be played. Instead, a virtual celebration will be held for the finalists.
Since beginning his career as a Crater Comet, Bittle has been on college scouts' radars. His ability to make plays in the paint while being a deadly three-point shooter makes him a true dual-threat baller. 247Sports calls Bittle a "talented center with good size and long arms" and a "decent athlete, which could improve with strength."
He's been the boy's basketball gem of southern Oregon for a few years as a heavily recruited player and has the awards to back it up. Earlier this year Bittle was named to the Naismith High School Player of the Year Midseason Team. The Naismith High School Player of the Year is awarded every year to the "most outstanding boys’ and girls’ prep basketball player who achieves tremendous on-court success," according to NaismithTrophy.com. Past winners include LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kobe Bryant.
Congratulations to 6’11” F Nathan Bittle of Prolific Prep (2021) on being selected as a McDonald’s All-American. Nate is headed to play for Dana Altman at Oregon next year ���� #ALLIN pic.twitter.com/IQLvi7FguQ
— West Coast Elite (@wceua) February 23, 2021