High School: McDonalds All-American
February, 9, 2012
By Travis L. Brown | ESPNDallas.com
HIGHLAND VILLAGE, Texas -- The entire Flower Mound Marcus boys basketball team gathered after practice Thursday with family and friends at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Highland Village to celebrate the school's first McDonald's All-American.
Marcus Smart, the ESPNU No. 12 recruit for the class of 2012 and an Oklahoma State signee, was selected to play shooting guard for the West All-American squad. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. March 28 at the United Center in Chicago.
Smart sat alongside his mother and Phil Forte, an All-American nominee, as his name was read on the ESPNU broadcast and the Marcus faithful celebrated.
"It's just an honor to be awarded prestigious award," Smart said. "They do a great job with this each year, especially with the Ronald McDonald house and the places this stuff goes to. I'm just proud to be a part of it."
Smart said he's excited to play with some of the nation's top talent, including ESPNU No. 2 recruit Shabazz Muhammad, whom he played against in AAU ball. Marcus' team happened to beat Muhammad's in that Las Vegas tournament, but friendly revenge won't be a storyline in this All-American game -- the two will combine forces on the West side.
Smart is Marcus coach Danny Henderson's first All-American. However, he said it's the time he's spent around the All-American that he cherishes the most.
"It's an honor, but more important than Marcus playing in this game, it's an honor to coach Marcus Smart." Henderson said. "He's everything that's good about high school basketball. It couldn't happen to a more team-oriented and better kid."
While Smart's teammate and best friend, Forte, didn't make the final cut, he said he was just as proud of Smart making the squad as he could be for being nominated.
"Just to be mentioned with the great talent out there is an honor," Forte said. "I'm proud of Marcus. He works hard and deserves it, and I'm just proud to be here and share it with him."
Smart said he has never been to Chicago before and is excited about everything he will be able to experience while he is there. Henderson said he and his coaching staff wouldn't miss the opportunity to travel to the Windy City to watch Marcus play -- and catch a Bulls game while they're at it.