There’s a funny dynamic at the McDonald’s All American Game (and it’s Jordan Brand counterpart, for that matter). While players cooperate in practices and team up on game day, they often do so with the full knowledge that in a matter of weeks, they’ll be representing college teams pitched against each other.
That subtle and friendly animosity is particularly piqued when a set of teammates are soon to compete for rival institutions. A certain shade of that connection is in play with McDonald’s All American teammates Josiah-Jordan James and Matthew Hurt.
James is a Tennessee recruit, the prized asset in Rick Barnes’ Class of 2019. Hurt is still undecided, but is being heavily recruited by Memphis (as well as most other major programs across the country).
James and Hurt were asked about the December beef between Barnes and Hardaway, a dispute that erupted following a skirmish in Tennessee’s 10-point victory against the Tigers. James steadfastly defended his future coach while Hurt, a Rochester, Minn. native, made the case for Hardaway’s actions.
The result was a fun but slightly edge interchange recorded by Go Tigers, the 247Sports Memphis site:
The interchange showcases both James and Hurt’s budding friendship as well as a deep loyalty to one star’s future coach (Barnes has to be thrilled with the endorsement he’s getting from James).
Regardless, the video highlights a truly unique relationship between elite prospects who are now teammates, will soon be rivals, and may soon play across from each other professionally, too.