Plenty of college basketball fans tune into the McDonald's All-American game each year to get an up close look at the next wave of stars, and in some cases, the next wave of stars coming to their favorites campuses. The game annually features 24 of the nation's best incoming freshmen.
Wednesday night, fans of Duke and North Carolina had plenty to be excited about.
On a night when Duke had four top 10 national players in the game -- and all four played well -- a future UNC Tar Heel shone the brightest on the big stage.
Nassir Little had a game-high 28 points (on 12-for-17 shooting) and five rebounds in front of a crowd of more than 11,000. He led the West to a 131-128 win over the East in the 41st McDonald's Game. It was the third time the game had been played in Atlanta and the first time there since 1992.
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Little's scoring output was the third-most in the game's history, trailing only Michael Jordan (30 points) and Jonathan Bender (31). And Little certainly had Carolina's basketball official Twitter and Tar Heel nation plenty excited on a night when another future UNC star playing in this game, Coby White of Wilson (NC) Greenfield School, finished with six points and two rebounds.
“Last night, I was telling myself, I’m not winning (MVP),”said Little, ranked No. 10 nationally by ESPN. “I didn’t play that well in the scrimmage, so I kind of counted myself out, but something in me always tells me I can do it. Not necessarily in my mind, but the time I put into this game, it just pays off.”
Duke recruits Tre Jones (seven points, two steals) and Cam Reddish(11 points, three rebounds, five steals) combined for 17 assists. RJ Barrett, the nation's top recruit and the Gatorade national player of the year had 26 points and three rebounds. Spartanburg Day's Zion Williamson had eight points, five rebounds, three steals and several hold-your-breath moments.
But for Duke, the news not all good. Williamson injured a thumb late in the game.
▪ Charlotte's Devon Dotson of Providence Day, playing with Little on the West, finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting. Doston also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Dotson, who enhanced his reputation during the scrimmages, is heading to Kansas.
Here are complete highlights of the game, courtesy of Overtime Sports
The Associated Press contributed