First, let’s get the official notices out of the way. The final score will always read Team Loyalty 148, Team Honor 134. That’s nice and all, but what everyone really wanted to see was which high school stars would show out at the Iverson Classic in suburban Washington, D.C.
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Mac McClung, by a landslide.
McClung didn’t finish as the game’s leading scorer, but he did chip in an impressive 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, as documented by the Georgetown SB Nation blog Casual Hoya. It was more the way he scored those 20 points that had the crowd — and Iverson himself — on his feet. And no, we’re not talking about an impressive shooting percentage by going 9-for-16 from the field.
There were hard-shaking back-off moves to free McClung up for deep jumpers (which he hit):
There were windmill dunks (see above). Again, those are easy for McClung at this point.
Then there was the grand finale, this behind-the-back windmill after the game had wrapped competitively which had Iverson and just about anyone who wasn’t a fan in the stands crowding McCling to celebrate with him.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is nuts. It also helped inspire reactions like this:
And testimony from McClung’s high school coach, who made the trip to D.C. to support his star.
Mac showed [Saturday] what everyone in Gate City has been saying all year – he can play on the biggest stage against the best competition in the nation because he doesn’t think he can, he knows he can,” Gate City coach Scott Vermillion told the Bristol Herald Courier. “And he did, and will, just watch. He has all the tools and the ‘it’ factor. I’m so proud of his performance [Saturday].”
McClung’s athleticism helped put a gloss on Iverson’s event, which he clearly appreciated. He wasn’t talking specifically to the future Hoya with this remarkably heartfelt thank you speech afterward, but he might as well have been.
That’s the good stuff, on all levels. It’s also a prelude to the summer Kenner League in D.C., where McClung is scheduled to appear alongside collegiate and NBA veterans beginning July 7. Make sure to bring your popcorn, because it may well sell out at Georgetown’s McDonogh gym.