John Petty is well-rested and he’s ready to show people what they didn’t get to see at the McDonald’s All-American Game.
Petty, an Alabama signee who helped Mae Jemison (Huntsville, Ala.) win the 5A state title this past season, is one of four players in Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic Boys National Game who weren’t invited to the McDonald’s Game two weeks ago in Chicago.
“I watched it on TV and it didn’t bother me that much even though I’m using it as motivation,” said Petty, who is a 6-5 shooting guard and will play for the East team at Jordan Brand. “I’m coming here to play hard, showcase my talent and show the (NBA) scouts what I can do and what I need to get better at.”
Matt Coleman of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Tremont Waters of Notre Dame (West Haven, Conn.) and Jalek Felton of Gray Collegiate (West Columbia, S.C.) are the other National Team players here who were snubbed by McDonald’s.
“I think, just not hearing my name mentioned for McDonald’s gave me more of an urge and a better opportunity, being here, to remind people that Matt Coleman still brings the “It Factor” to the table,” Coleman said.
More importantly, than the games, for some of these players, are the all-star game practices because the court is ringed by NBA scouts, both at McDonald’s and at Jordan Brand.
“The practices are more intense than the games,” Coleman said. “But when you are playing in front of pro scouts, you have to act like you are playing like it is any other day. Have fun and play your game and don’t too much just because there’s an extra audience you’re playing in front of that one day you could be playing for.”
The last time Petty played organized basketball was in the state tournament in early March. He’s not worried about the layoff but was glad to connect with his future Alabama teammate, Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) point guard Collin Sexton, who is playing for the East squad.
“I’ve just been shooting in the gym, working out,” Petty said. “We get down to Alabama early (May 29), so we were able to build chemistry and build a connection just by being here.”