In the days leading up to the McDonald’s All American Games in Chicago, USA TODAY High School Sports will be catching up with various players to talk about their experiences. In this entry, we talk to Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, Mo.) small forward Jayson Tatum, who has signed to play for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
It’s been great. I love the city of Chicago, and being a part of McDonald’s. Growing up and seeing it all happen, then being a part of it, all the festivities, it’s been a dream come true and I’m enjoying every second of it.
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The Ronald McDonald House has been the highlight for me so far. The impact we have there in incredible. I played basketball and made cookies with a boy named Stanley, and I got to spend time with a boy named Bradley who has acute myeloid leukemia, like Craig Sager. He’s going through a really tough time. To put a smile on their faces means the world to me.
The basketball has been intense, every day and every practice. There are a lot of talented players out here and everyone giving it their all. Everyone’s been bringing their A-game.
There are a lot of high flying kids here like Miles Bridges and Malik Monk. To see what they’re going to bring to the big stage at the Powerade Jam Fest, we’re all excited to see that happen.
My senior season has been everything I could have wished for and then some. We played extremely well all year, all those showpiece events on TV. To finish with a state title, to leave high school with at least one, that was a great experience. Now I wish I could be at Duke tomorrow. That’s how excited I am. I’m ready to get to work and get ready for college.
Staying healthy is the hardest part of this all-star run (McDonald’s All-American Game, Nike Hoop Summit, Jordan Brand Classic) at the end of the season. You have to eat right, take in the right things, do the right stretches to take care of yourself, and you’ll be alright.
I really just want to go out there and have fun. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing I’ve waited my whole life for. I just want to go out there and have fun.