Lost in what has been mostly a lost season for the New Orleans Pelicans has been the continued growth of forward/center Anthony Davis. Despite his team being 24-39 and eight games out of a playoff spot, the 22 year old has continued to produce ridiculous numbers averaging 24.3 PPG to go along with 10.3 rebounds and 2 blocks a night.
That kind of production is what was expected of Davis when he was taken number one overall back in 2012, but there were those who projected his stardom long before he stepped onto an NBA or even college floor.
“In 2011, seeing Anthony Davis in practice and in the games you just realized that kid was special,” said the director of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game, Douglas Freeland, on CBS Sports Radio’s DA Show.
Davis is one of many products of the All-America Game who have gone on to star in the NBA, joining the likes of Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and more. To Freeland, Davis’ performance in the game stands out above all others in Freeland’s mind.
Freeland has been the director of the All-American Game for 20 years now, and this year’s games are slated to be played on March 30th in Chicago. In his time as director, Freeland has seen the game continue to evolve and the biggest change he says is the intensity with which the players compete.
“These players, they all know each other now,” said Freeland. “Years ago when they would come to the McDonald’s game a lot of them were meeting for the first time. Now they know each other very, very well from all of the summer ball and all the publicity. As you know the high school basketball, high school sports in general have really taken off over the last 5, 6, 7 years. There’s a lot of familiarity with these players amongst each other and it makes for more heated competition to say the least. Especially, some of our practice sessions, for example the closed scrimmage the day before the games is a very intense scrimmage because you have NBA scouts in the audience.”