McGee shows why he'll be a fan favorite at U of L

If you spend any time getting to know <b>Andre McGee</b>, it's easy to understand why the 6-0 Moreno Valley, California star is going to be a fan favorite from the first moment he steps foot on the University of Louisville's campus next fall.

If you spend any time getting to know Andre McGee, it's easy to understand why the 6-0 Moreno Valley, California star is going to be a fan favorite from the first moment he steps foot on the University of Louisville's campus next fall.

Thursday afternoon, McGee held court with the media. He was entertaining, friendly, and open. He also had the media types laughing, and you can be sure he'll be on everyone's short list around here for future interviews.

But here's why the Louisville fans are going to love this kid – he loves basketball, and he understands just how important the game is to the fans he'll play for the next four years.

"Every time I come here it's a great experience, and the fans are the main reason," McGee said. "They're so passionate about basketball, and that's why I love coming here."

WAVE 3's Bob Dominie politely joked about McGee's listed size – six feet – in the program. McGee, taking no offense, gave Dominie a great sound-bite for the news.

"When I'm put my shoes on, get the ankles taped, put on a couple pairs of socks, I'm about six-foot," McGee said to laughter. "I try to make sure my height doesn't even matter. I just try to play hard and get after it every day."

McGee admitted he and his family followed – and rooted- for Louisville during the Cardinals NCAA Tournament run last month.

"On my visit last summer, they told me that was their main objective – to go to the Final Four," McGee said. "And they accomplished it. I was loving it. My family are big basketball buffs, and we watched every game and cheered. We thought they were going to go all the way. We were really rooting for them."

Andre McGee, as quick with the ball as he is
with a smile, understands U of L fans passion
for basketball.

Considered one of the top point guards in the nation, McGee will be counted on to play major minutes next season as a freshman. A true point guard possessing excellent ball-handling and passing skills, plus outstanding scoring ability, McGee said he's not worried about the pressure to perform at the next level.

"I think it's good pressure," McGee said. "That's the main thing you want to do when you're playing basketball – you want to go to a top school, and come in and play as much as you can. So I think I'm in a great position right now, and I just want to work hard and take in everything."

And he knows what he needs to improve to play major minutes for Pitino.

"The biggest thing is conditioning," McGee said. "I'm expected to play a lot as a freshman, and with the way they play, I have to work on my conditioning."

This weekend, U of L fans will be treated to a glimpse of the future with McGee running the show for the Black Team. He'll be directing the action during Saturday's all-star game, and with the help of four of his future U of L teammates, McGee plans on laying the foundation for next season.

"I'm rooming with Chad Millard, so it's going to be great," said McGee. "That's the Louisville camaraderie already starting."

This will be McGee's second all-star game in as many weeks. Last weekend, McGee scored four points in the Charm City Challenge in Baltimore, where his United States All-Stars fell 110-107 to the Baltimore Stars.

"It was a good experience being on the east coast," said McGee. "There was a lot of Big East guys talking a little trash about who's team is going to be better next year in the conference. It was a lot fun."

And even though McGee's team lost the game, he didn't return home empty handed. By hitting 20 three-pointers on his first rack, and 17 more on the second, McGee won the event's three-point shooting contest. He's hoping to make it a clean sweep this weekend.

"I don't know," McGee said when asked if he can win the Derby Classic three-point shooting contest. "My arm is feeling good. Hopefully I can win it again, and make it two in a row."

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