Montverde Academy (Fla.) guard R.J. Barrett has traveled all around the world from Hawaii to China this season draining jump shots and taking names for the Eagles, who are ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25, but on Thursday afternoon when the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance stopped by Barrett’s school and presented him with an honorary jersey for the McDonald’s All American Game, he was adamant that this accomplishment was “right near the top.”
The game tips on March 28 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
“It’s the greatest honor for a high school player,” said Barrett, a Duke signee, who is ranked No. 1 overall in the ESPN 100. “Just to be able to wear the jersey and being from Canada is big for me and my country. I’m proud to be able to represent.”
Barrett has certainly done that this season, pumping in 28.7 points, eight rebounds and 4.2 assists a game for the unbeaten Eagles.
He’s also part of the country’s No. 1 recruiting class, which includes Spartanburg Day (S.C.) wing Zion Williamson, who is ranked No. 2 overall, Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.) shooting guard Cam Reddish, who is ranked No. 3 overall, and Apple Valley (Minn.) point guard Tre Jones, who is ranked No. 12 overall.
Experts are calling Duke’s 2018 haul the best ever assembled since recruiting rankings came about in the early 2000s.
Still, before Barrett can even think about leading the Blue Devils to a national title as a freshman, he’s got a little unfinished business to take care of.
“I want the DICK’s Nationals title,” Barrett said. “We got there last year, but we didn’t get it done. That’s the only thing we’re focused on. Today was great because it’s another goal that I accomplished, but after this it’s right back to practice trying to get better so we can win the national title.”
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