A week and a half ago Julian Wright played coy when he told us that he hadn’t heard whether or not he’d been selected to the McDonald’s All-American game. This evening, the 6-8 forward from Homewood (IL) Flossmoor admitted that he’d known for a couple of weeks that he had been selected for the prestigious game, but he didn’t want to take any chances.
“I knew that I’d made it last time I spoke with you,” Wright told Phog.net. “I promised that I would keep it a secret though and they make you sign all of this stuff saying you won’t tell so I didn’t want to say anything.”
Regardless of whether or not he knew he had made the team, the easy going Wright admitted that the honor of being selected didn’t really sink in until he saw his name on the official list. He was even more excited when he learned that his future teammates, 6-8 WF Micah Downs and 6-3 PG/WG Mario Chalmers, would be joining him on the West squad.
“I already knew I was going to play against Micah in the Jordan game, but it will be exciting to play with them,” said Wright of hitting the court with his future teammates. “For all three of us to be on the court together for at least a segment of the game will be a blast.”
Being the competitor that he is, Wright has already spent some time studying the rosters and thinking about who he’ll match up with. In particular he’s looking forward to going against good friend and future Duke Blue Devil Josh McRoberts and future conference foe Gerald Green.
“Josh McRoberts, he’s my little, well actually big buddy. We talk a lot on the phone and I hope that he doesn’t mess me up too much,” said Wright who admitted he wouldn’t mind trying to throw down a dunk on his friend. “Yeah, I’d kind of like to catch him on a fast break and get him.”
“I’d also like to see how I compare to those guys who are considered true elite wings, I’m kind of considered as an all over the place guy,” said Wright. “I want to play a guy like Gerald Green, he might go to the NBA but if he doesn’t I’ll see him at Oklahoma State in college.”
As excited as he is about making the team, Wright is quick to point out that he still has a lot of unfinished business on the high school level. Being an All-American is nice, but he wants more.
“It’s a major accomplishment, but I don’t want it to be my only highlight and I still want to win a state championship,” said Wright. “It’s definitely a highlight of my high school career. However, I want to continue to improve my game and not let it get to my head.”
The future Jayhawk has been spending plenty of time watching his future teammates and is confident they will break out of their slump this weekend against Oklahoma State. Fans might also be surprised to see what or who has been the difference over the last couple of games.
“Moody, Moody, Moody, Moody, Moody, they are missing his presence right now,” said Wright of the injured Christian Moody. “He knows where he is supposed to be and does the little things and it really shows how valuable he is by his absence.”
Finally, Wright also wants to make sure that he takes full advantage of his McDonald’s opportunity. A big picture kid, he understands that it is much more than just one game.
“I realize that I’m not just playing for myself out there, I’m playing for Kansas and the game too,” said Wright. “There’s a lot of history with guys like K.G. (Kevin Garnett), Michael Jordan and others and now I’m going to be a part of that.”