Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Diary of a McDonald's All-American Part II: Joshua Smith

It's the end of the March. Another high school basketball season has come to a close, and with that comes the annual McDonald's All-American Game. The 2010 edition takes place in Columbus, Ohio at the Value City Arena this Wednesday.

HHR enlisted a player from both the boys and girls' teams to give us a personal diary of some of their time as a McDonald's All-American.

In part 1 you read about Haley Peters, a New Jersey native playing on the East Squad bound for Duke. Today we check in with Joshua Smith, a Kent, Washington native ready to suit up for the West squad. Smith goes 6'10" tall, 280 pounds, and is bound for UCLA next year, we are sure they can use his help. Smith is just the latest to come from the Emerald City area in what is quickly becoming known nationwide as a hotbed for basketball talent. Current NBA talent such as Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson among countless others call the state of Washington home. Smith hopes to be the next in line, he gave us an inside look at some time behind the scenes as a McDonald's All-American.




Josh Smith Journal
Written on March 30, 2010

I’m here at the 2010 McDonald’s All American Games to share a behind-the-scenes look at what this experience has been like for a player.

When I started player basketball and following it seriously, I knew I wanted to become a McDonald’s All American so it’s really a dream to be a part of this experience with such great alumni like Shaq.

I’m rooming with Terrence Jones while I’m here in Columbus, which is funny. I know both Terrence and Jared Sullinger pretty well and of course I’ve played with a lot of the other guys over the past couple of years. Jered has been challenging me to tweet battles every since we got to Columbus.

Game week has been great so far. On Sunday I accidently overslept a little. I do that a lot, haha. My nick name is actually sleepy time. I blame it on the time difference. Give me a break, it’s a three hour time change! I still haven’t adjusted.

Fortunately I didn’t miss the Ronald McDonald House and hospital visit with the rest of the players and coaches. I had never been to a Ronald McDonald House before and it was an amazing experience. I had a blast interacting with the kids and putting a smile on their face. It was truly life-changing.

On Monday we had the POWERADE Jam Fest competition. I didn’t compete but I really wish I had. I was going to do the three point contest, but I was being cowardly. I was cheering for Patric Young in the dunk contest and Ray McCallum and Keith Appling in the skills challenge. The dunk contest has been one of my favorite parts of Game week so far.

Before Jam Fest we went to the Columbus Zoo. I always love going to the zoo but the snakes were freaky! I was a little scared of them.

On Tuesday we got dressed up for our banquet where Clark Kellogg spoke. We also got our official Game rings. Man, the girls looked great! It was fun to get dressed up – it was my first time ever wearing a bow tie. It was kind of hard to figure out how to put it on.

Today we got to meet Alonzo Mourning who is the captain of the McDonald’s All American Games’ Advisory Council. It was really cool. Zo, Jay Williams and Jessica Davenport talked to all of the players about preparing for our futures and life outside of basketball.

I’m looking forward to being on national TV tonight. Don’t forget to tune in – you can watch the Girls Game live on ESPNU at 5:30 p.m. ET and the Boys Game live on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. ET. I can’t wait to see what the atmosphere will be like. West will win!


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