28 Mart 2008

McDonald's Game Notebook

MILWAUKEE -- From the start, it was clear that Brandon Jennings of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) wasn't interested in scoring.

Unlike most McDonald's All-Americans, Jennings was only interested in dishing the rock. He had his sights set on the McDonald's assist record of 13, set by Jacque Vaughn back in 1993.

And for a while, it looked like he'd have the mark by the first half. Jennings assisted on the West's first five baskets, including several on spectacular alley oops, but he slowed down and finished with nine in the East's 107-102 victory.

Unfortunately, Jennings showed his displeasure on the court when someone missed a layup costing him a potential assist and then he took it a step further during the post-game press conference.

"I was trying to get that assist record," Jennings said. "If B.J. Mullens and Greg (Monroe) would've made their layups, I probably would have gotten it."

To be fair, Jennings may have been joking (although he wasn't laughing) and the question he was asked did refer to his teammates not being prepared for his passes, but there's no reason for Jennings to call out his star big men like that.

As NBA on ABC announcer Mark Jackson would say, Brandon Jennings, you're better than that.

Jennings is a great player and one of the most exciting in the game. But being a star point guard isn't just about throwing precision passes. Even more than that, it's about making your teammates better and inspiring them to play their best. It's one thing to show frustration in the heat of the moment when someone misses an easy basket, but there's no need to do so to the media following a game.

* * *

When the question of who was the most impressive player this week was posed to Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Mike Rosario and Willie Warren, it didn't take long to get an answer.

Without hesitation, they each said Samardo Samuels of St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.). The Louisville-bound big man, who's RISE's No. 1 senior, impressed everything with his scary combination of size and agility.

"That's a big man," Rosario said.

For Samuels, who didn't start playing basketball until he was 13, that validated all of his effort.

"That's just hard work," Samuels said. "Guys acknowledging me is great and now I want to keep it up."

* * *

Presenting the MVP trophy to Evans following the boys' game was NBA star and 1988 McDonald's All-American co-MVP Alonzo Mourning.

Mourning was in town because he's heading up the McDonald's Advisory Council, which aims to educate the All-Americans about success on and off the court.

"It was smart that McDonald's put together this Advisory Council beacuse it gives an opportunity for the veteran stars of the game to come back and play a positive role in the current McDonald's All-American kids' lives," Mourning said. "We can provide insight, inspiration and help them understand that coming out here isn't just about the game, but to teach them it's important to establish a legacy in their community."

Jennings finished with 12 points and nine assists.

kaynak : NBA