Kauffman makes McDonald’s list

Sweet Home High School senior Gabe Kauffman was recently nominated to the McDonald’s All-American High School Boys Basketball Team, recognizing him as one of the top prep standouts in the nation.

He was among 1,500 nominees who competed to fill 24 positions on the boys team, which features an East-West showdown on March 26 in Milwaukee, Wis. ESPN will air the game, which begins at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Kauffman was nominated by the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team Boys Selection Committee, a group of 32 prominent basketball experts, including nationally renowned coaches and top high school sports journalists.

Kauffman is the first Sweet Home player to be nominated, said Coach Tim Little, Kauffman’s coach. He is one of four Oregon 4A players and about 30 high school players in the state to be nominated.

“It’s an honor,” Kauffman said. “I didn’t expect it at all.”

Kauffman has been playing basketball as long as he can remember, he said. His father played ball, and his brother Garrett played for the Huskies. He has two younger brothers, Gavin, a freshman, and Grant, sixth grade, who both play basketball. He is the son of Pete and Jodi Kauffman.

He started playing organized basketball in the first grade on a Boys and Girls Club team.

“I started playing when I was little,” Kauffman said. “It was just a lot of fun, especially with all my friends.”

Kauffman doesn’t know for sure whether he’ll play college ball. He plans to be a diesel mechanic, and some schools with that program don’t have basketball teams.

A portion of the proceeds from the all-star games are donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities to directly improve the health and well-being of children around the world. Since 1977, more than 700 male players have competed in the games, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and current college standouts.