Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.) point guard Jalek Felton has the type of shoe collection that would make even the most passionate sneaker enthusiast green with envy.
The featured attraction?
His “30 or so” pairs of Jordan retros.
“I’ve been collecting them for a while,” Felton said. “I’ve got about every pair. Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time and he’s someone I’ve always idolized so to have his shoes, it pretty much goes together.”
That’s why when Felton learned he was one of 24 high school players selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic presented by American Family Insurance, Felton described it was “a dream come true.”
RELATED: More on the players selected
The JBC is April 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Rosters for the girls game, the boys international game and boys regional game will be announced in February. Tickets will go on sale at all Ticketmaster locations and the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center in early February.
Kentucky had the most JBC All-Americans with four; Duke and Alabama had two apiece.
“This is something that I’ve always worked for,” said Felton, a North Carolina signee. “To be able to play in this game is big time.”
The game has boasted big-time talent with NBA stars such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis all competing in the past.
“It feels good to know that there were so many other greats that have played in this game,” said Pace Academy (Atlanta) forward Wendell Carter Jr., a Duke signee. “Now I have the opportunity to play in this game. It’s a blessing.”
Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. said making the JBC “means everything” to him.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” said Trent, a Duke signee. “I’m so fortunate that I have the opportunity to showcase my basketball talents on a national stage.”
As part of being selected to play in the JBC, Jordan Brand and American Family Insurance will stop in to each player’s “Senior Night” and recognize his achievement by raising a Jordan Brand All-American banner in his gym. The first stop is scheduled for Friday for Mohamed Bamba at Westtown School in West Chester, Pa.
“As a proud sponsor of the Jordan Brand Classic selection tour, we congratulate these fine student athletes who are pursuing their dreams,” said American Family Insurance Director of Advertising Dwayne Maddox. “We know that behind every successful athlete is a team of parents, coaches, teachers and friends who have assisted along the way. We look forward to recognizing these important ‘dream champions’ as we visit their local communities across the nation.”
Still, as cool as the banner drop will undoubtedly be, Felton is already hoping for the opportunity to pick Jordan’s brain a bit.
“He never had a bad game and he played all those years,” Felton said. “I mean, how do you do that? That’s what I’d ask him if I got the chance. Just to be there and be a part of his game is a big. It’s something that every high school player wants to be in. I’m ready to play.”
Click through the gallery to meet the players selected:
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