MCD: Hickson Efficient in Strong Showing

LOUISVILLE, KY -– The 30th annual McDonald's All-American game was among the most competitive all-star games you'll see and the West, who was led by Michael Beasley's 23 points, won 114-112.

The East had a balanced scoring attack with NC State signee J.J. Hickson leading the way.

As O.J. Mayo struggled from the field (4-of-17) the East squad was in need of a strong inside presence and Hickson was able to provide that. In just 16 minutes of action, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound senior scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed six rebounds.

"I think I played good," Hickson said after the game. "I ran the floor like a big man is supposed to do and I rebounded. I didn't get the ball that much in transition, but I think I showed everyone I can run the floor."

The Marietta (GA) Wheeler standout was impressive in each of the practice sessions and that certainly carried over into the game. His added strength helped him around the basket and he has a variety of ways to score on the block.

Throughout the game Hickson could be found working on the low block and cleaning up his teammates misses. He knocked down a mid-range jumper, and he was able to maneuver in the paint for a couple of dunks in traffic.

"I think I've improved a lot," he explained. "I've been working on my explosiveness, my legs, and my footwork. I'm definitely improving."

Although Hickson put together a solid performance, he was clearly bummed about not getting the victory.

"It's very competitive and everyone wants to win. I guess that's why we were so mad after the game because we only lost by two points. Like I said though it was really competitive and everyone has a competitive spirit. We just all went out there and played hard."

What's next for Hickson? Before heading to Raleigh for the second summer school session, Hickson plans to hit the gym and work on a few aspects of his game.

"I'm trying to work on my long range jumper and my three-pointers and just how I catch the ball in the post."

WEST – Beasley 23, Singler 10, Love 13, Gordon 13, Rose 5, Lucas 8, Harden 8, Griffin 4, Anderson 5, King 8, Bayless 11, Aldrich 6. Rebounds – Beasley 12. Assists – Rose 5.

EAST – Greene 10, Patterson 8, Koufos 9, Flynn 9, Mayo 12, Wright 0, Hickson 14, Freeman 9, Smith 8, Stokes 8, Lawal 12, Calathes 13. Rebounds – Lawal 12. Assists – Calathes, Flynn 6. Blocks – Patterson 3.

Pack Pride Top Stories