Bishop Gorman star O’Bannon named McDonald’s All-American

Basketball is in Charles O’Bannon Jr.’s blood.

His father and uncle both went to UCLA and were standouts in Los Angeles. The apple doesn’t appear to fall far from the tree, as the Bishop Gorman star was selected as a McDonald’s All-American this year.

He will play in the 40th annual high school showcase March 29 in Chicago.

“It’s an honor,” he said. “It’s every basketball player’s dream to become an All-American. When it comes to the top players in the country, when there’s a very limited amount of space, you know you have to work for it.”

O’Bannon is the fourth Bishop Gorman player in the past three years to be named a McDonald’s All-American. He’s also one of three players in Southern Nevada playing in this year’s game, joining Centennial’s Troy Brown and Findlay Prep’s P.J. Washington.

The 4-star prospect and No. 2 recruit in Nevada (according to 247Sports) orally committed to USC on Dec. 23 and is averaging 21.4 points per game for the Gaels. He plans to major in business and finance when he enrolls.

But for someone with a lengthy basketball lineage, the sport doesn’t engulf the young O’Bannon.

“I’m a big animal guy. I find all that stuff fascinating,” he said. “I love learning new stuff about it, like watching the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. And Shark Week. (That’s the) best week of the year. Love that.”

Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice knew of his potential right away. After playing on the junior varsity team his freshman year, he was bumped up to varsity near the end of the season.

“Ever since then, he’s been one of our main guys,” Rice said.

The coach said it was no surprise when O’Bannon was chosen as one of the top 24 players in the U.S.

“It’s a tough group to get in, that elite group,” Rice said of the All American event. “He deserves it. It’s a real big accomplishment.”

O’Bannon turned 18 on March 1, and has some of the physical traits of his dad and uncle. His dad, Charles Sr., was a second-round pick of the Detroit Pistons in 1997 after playing four years at UCLA. His uncle, Ed O’Bannon, was also a four-year star at UCLA from 1992-95 and was the nation’s player of the year in 1995. He was drafted by the then-New Jersey Nets with the ninth overall pick that summer.

They were both standouts for UCLA’s last national championship team in 1995.

O’Bannon has played basketball since he was 5 but didn’t take the sport seriously until about seventh grade.

“Most of the time I was in Japan because my dad played overseas,” he said. Charles Sr. played in Japan from 2003-13. “I grew up being at his practices every day. So, I was always in the gym.”

He said living in another country made him more open to new ideas and experiences.

“The way I was brought up was different from a lot of people,” O’Bannon said. “The fact that I spent nine months of the year overseas from the age of 2 until about 13 … It was very different from other guys. I saw a different way of life and how people carry themselves.”

That experience also relates to the basketball court for O’Bannon. He said he’s more vocal on the court and has continued to grow into a leader the last couple of years.

“When it was time to speak, I’d have something to say,” he said. “If some guys are getting down, being hard on themselves, I take it upon myself to lift them up.”

O’Bannon is about to face an entirely different level of competition compared to being a star at Bishop Gorman for three years. He said he expects to carry the same mentality with him into Division I ball.

“Same with any game — just come out and do the best you can,” he said. “We want to keep our respect around Las Vegas.”


To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email or call 702-387-2949.

Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like