Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) teammates Keldon Johnson and David McCormack received their honorary jerseys Thursday as part of the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance.
A Kentucky commit, the 6-foot-6 Johnson is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 small forward and No. 6 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 according to ESPN.
“I can’t even explain how excited I am,” Johnson said. “It’s a dream come true. … Growing up, I’d watch it closer and closer every year. It was just one of those things where I said, ‘Man, I wish I could get there.’ I did everything in my power to get there, so when I elected, I can’t even explain the feeling.”
The 6-10 McCormack, meanwhile, is ranked as the No. 4 center in the Class of 2018 and has signed with Kansas.
“I am completely ecstatic,” McCormack said. “Just being able to go through this process, one that so many great players have gone through themselves. I can’t wait to follow in those footsteps.”
Johnson and McCormack have known each other since before they became both classmates and teammates in Mouth of Wilson this school year. Both played for the 15-and-under Team Loaded Virginia AAU team a few years back.
The unique opportunity for teammates and friends to suit up as McDonald’s All-Americans – albeit on different teams, with Johnson on the West and McCormack on the East – is not lost on them.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going through this experience with Dave,” Johnson said. “We go back much farther than Oak Hill. This will be a great moment.”
“I’ve known (Keldon) for a long time. We’ve been boys for I don’t know how many years,” McCormack said. “It’s a brotherly type of relationship.”
The pair will see by several of their respective future teammates in Atlanta as well.
Joining McCormack will be fellow future Jayhawks Devon Dotson and Quintin Grimes, both of whom will be suiting up for the West team. Johnson, a member of the West team, will oppose fellow Kentucky commit Immanuel Quickley.
“We’re going to be around some great players, just competing, taking something out of every day there,” Johnson said. “By interacting with others, learning more about myself and the game, I’ll be able to take some things away that I can use in the future.”
Both McDonald’s All-American Games will be held March 28 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.