Rocking the “6” for the six, Canada’s own RJ Barrett continued his assault towards the first overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft with dominant 26-point performance at the 41st Annual McDonald’s All-American game inside Philips Arena, Atlanta.
Barrett’s (Mississauga,ON) 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting came up just short as the West All-Stars defeated Barrett’s East squad in close 131-128 game that featured a bevy of future NBA lottery picks. North Carolina Tar Heels Nassir Little took home MVP honors, scoring a game-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting.
Barrett’s 26 points, 3 rebounds in 23 minutes is the most points ever scored by a Canadian at the McDonald’s All-Star Game and was just five points short of the all-time scoring record held my Jonathan Bender who poured in 31 points in 1999. Michael Jordan previously held the record with 30 points in 1980. For comparisons purposes, Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves) scored 19 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals in the 2013 Game in Chicago.
The Duke commit opened the game with a thunderous one-hand dunk and never looked back on his way to 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the first-half, including Barrett’s revelation on how his father used to prepare him for this particular moment – practicing his half-time interview by speaking to a fork in front of family and friends.
The McDonalds All-American Game returned to Atlanta for the first time since it hosted the Games in 1992 and 1983 and featured a half-fime performance by Atlanta native Ludacris. Also courtside to take the next crop of superstars was Quavo part of the dynamic Migos group. Chicago hosted the event for seven (7) straight years (2010-2017)
For Barrett the action continues as he looks to wrap up his illustrious high school career with a championship at the 10th annual GEICO High School Nationals. The undefeated and No. 1 ranked Montverde Academy Eagles will look to make it four national titles in the last six years.
Barrett Jr. will showcase his skills at two more All-star games, notably the Jordan Brand game (April 7th, 2018) and the newly announced Signature All-Canadian All-Star Game (April 23rd, 2018) in his hometown of Mississauga.