Thursday, February 10, 2011
Davis, Blackshear ready for all-star show
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Morgan Park guard Wayne Blackshear and Perspectives forward Anthony Davis had the same goal entering this season: To be named McDonald’s All-Americans.
That goal became a reality on Thursday when both were announced on ESPNU as 2011 selections.
But when they found out the game would be at the United Center in their hometown Chicago, their initial goal was altered. It wasn’t about just making an appearance and playing in the McDonald’s game anymore; it was about dominating and putting on a show.
Wayne Blackshear is bound for Louisville where he'll likely face off against UK recruit Anthony Davis.
“A lot of legends came out Chicago, and I just wanted to be remembered as one of them,” said Blackshear, who played with Davis on the same AAU team as kids. “It means a lot to me for the game being in Chicago. Not a lot of players get to play in their hometown.
“Me and Anthony grew up together, and it’s good for us to be McDonald’s All-Americans. It shows all the hard work paid off. It’s going to be fun playing with him.”
Blackshear, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is the 17th-ranked player in the Class of 2011 and is a Louisville recruit. He averages 32.5 points, 14.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 5.4 blocks, and 4.2 steals this season for Morgan Park.
“Blackshear is a strong and athletic wing that has been a marquee name in Chicago since he hit the high school scene,” ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin said. “He has a college-ready body and will be a terrific Big East wing at the ‘Ville.”
Davis, a 6-foot-10 forward, is the No. 2-ranked player in the class and is a Kentucky recruit. He averages 32 points, 19 rebounds and 6.5 blocks for Perspectives.
"This means a lot to me," Davis said. "This was one of my high school goals. It's a great accomplishment. I have a chance to play in front of my family and friends."
Unlike Blackshear, Davis wasn’t a household name in the country or even Chicago up until last spring when he played club basketball for the first time of his high school career. Within a few months of people seeing his versatile game, he was one of the most coveted recruits in the nation.
“Davis came on the scene last spring and has never looked back,” Rankin said. “From an unknown to being considered for the top spot in the class and signing with Kentucky, Davis has off-the-charts’ upside and is the toughest matchup in high school basketball because of his size, length and guard skills.”
Davis’ national attention has helped Perspectives’ profile as well.
“It’s a huge thing for the school especially,” Perspectives coach Cortez Hale said. “He’s getting good notoriety out there for the school that we’re not just an academic school. We also have athletics.”
Morgan Park doesn’t need the exposure, but Blackshear’s McDonald’s All-American selection has fulfilled a dream for Mustangs coach Nick Irvin. A star player himself in high school, Irvin wasn’t selected to play in the game.
“I was disappointed I never made it, but I had to move on from it,” Irvin said. “It’s great to see someone I coach and be a part of his life and see him make it. He can tell me how it feels.”
Irvin also had no doubt Blackshear and Davis would put on a show for their hometown crowd.
“He better,” Irvin said of Blackshear. “This is what he wanted. He better have a big game because he’s going to get hit in the mouth if he doesn’t. He’s not just going out there and playing around like it’s an all-star game. It’s a game to showcase yourself and show you belong. It’s in his home city where he’s the best player in the state of Illinois.”
In addition to Blackshear and Davis, Bolingbrook's Ariel Massengale was selected to the roster for the girls game.