It’s that time of the year. What time? When the people behind the annual McDonald’s All-American basketball game releases its initial list of nominees, an enormous report that includes more than 200 players from high school teams across the country. Making the cut for the final 24-man roster for the All-American Game is a huge deal, but given the number of teenagers playing basketball across the country, so is just making the initial cut.
That’s what has a pair of players from Wings Academy so excited. Jessie Govan, a power forward/center who has signed to play at Georgetown, is the headliner of New York stars who will have a shot at playing in the Windy City on April 1. Govan is joined by his Wings teammate, Desure Buie, who will play at Hofstra. Govan is clearly considered the most likely of the New York stars to earn a berth to the annual Chicago prep all-star game, but he and Buie are also joined by Matt Ryan (a Notre Dame signee) from Iona Prep and Nakyw Sanders from of Tottenville, as noted by the New York Daily News.
Whether he makes the cut or not, Buie said being nominated the first time is already a major boon for he and his teammates for the rest of the season.
“It’s huge,” Buie told the Daily News. “I put in a lot of work already, but I need to get in the gym and put in some more work now. It’s not over just because I got nominated; it’s just getting started.
“Us being nominated is not only huge for ourselves but our program. It shows we need to lead our team to victory and the big goal this year, and that’s to win a championship.”
The nominations come just in time for a major confidence boost ahead of a big tournament, though none of the nominated players will be taking part. The 2015 Big Apple Classic tips off Saturday, with a number of the nation’s top-rated recruits competing for their high school squads. Thon Maker is the big name on top of the marquee, but other stars including regional star Devonte Green, from Long Island Lutheran, will also be taking part. The event at Baruch College features a total of 19 teams, each playing a single game on either Saturday or Monday. Maker’s Orangeville Prep team from Canada will be the limelight squad on Saturday night with a 7 p.m. tip off.
Of course, there are Big Apple teams among the 19 competing. Thurgood Marshall will represent Manhattan while Cardozo is the team from Queens and traditional power Lincoln arrives from Brooklyn for the event. The Bronx has two teams competing: St. Raymond and Cardinal Hayes.