Princeton (Cincinnati) forward Darius Bazley doesn’t typically get the pregame butterflies that some players get. Makes sense for a player who is ranked No. 9 overall in the ESPN 100.
That’s why it was “weird” for him to get the stomach rumbles on Tuesday when the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance stopped by his school and presented him with his honorary jersey for the game, which tips on March 28 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
“I was just envisioning everything that will go on that week of the McDonald’s game,” said Bazley, a Syracuse signee. “I’m just so excited to be a part of this game. It’s something I’ve wanted to be a part of for years.”
Bazley vividly recalls watching Jabari Parker dominate the competition in the 2013 game.
“That’s when I said, ‘I need that!” Bazley said. “I knew that I had to be a part of that game.”
This season, Bazley is averaging 18 points, 11 rebounds and four assists per game.
Bazley, who will suit up for the West team at the McDonald’s All American Game, said receiving his jersey was the perfect scenario headed into the state tournament on Thursday.
“This is gonna help me even more,” Bazley isad. “I really want to go out on top with the state title and getting this today just made me want it even more. I didn’t think that was even possible.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY