Arizona basketball recruit Aaron Gordon had his coming out party Wednesday night in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
In a game that featured the best and brightest high schools recruits, including a record-number six from the University of Kentucky, Gordon shined.
His high-flying dunks electrified the United Center crowd of 15, 818 as he finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and the John Wooden MVP for the game.
The nation’s top recruit, Andrew Wiggins, led the East squad with 19 points and four rebounds, but his play was overshadowed by Gordon who put on a personal dunkfest with nine slams. His lovely alley-oop dunk from Nigel Williams-Goss was breathtaking, but his double-clutch reverse jam and 360 dunk made my jaw drop.
The game started off as a tight battle, but Gordon’s dunk midway through the first half broke the 30-30 tie and sparked a 13-2 run for the West. Fellow Arizona recruit Rondae Hollis-Jefferson took a backseat to Gordon and finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists.
Gordon knew that there would be a lot of pressure being with so many great players, but he didn’t let it rattle him. He was quoted by the Associated Press:
It was really great. I’ve been watching all the players come up through the McDonald’s All-American game and to finally get here and go through the process of it all. Each practice, each shootaround, just the scrimmaging, it means a lot. I can come out here and compete with all the best players.
Hometown hero Jabari Parker was outplayed by Andrew Wiggins and hit just 4-of-13 from the field but was a monster on defense with eight boards, two blocks and two steals.
Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen tweeted the following about Gordon:
McDonald’s MVP Aaron Gordon most game-ready frosh to UA. List: 1, Gordon; 2 Bayless; 3 Elliott. All newbies: 1 Mills 2 BDele 3 Ben Davis
— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) April 4, 2013
The hype begins in earnest today now that Gordon has shown his amazing above-the-rim skills, but he has yet to play against seasoned NCAA veterans, and that is something that the college basketball world will have to wait eight long months to see.