McD: Tyler Zeller Spotlight

MILWAUKEE --- Tyler Zeller hasn't had much free time lately. He led his high school team to a Class 3A state championship over the weekend and by Sunday he was in Milwaukee for the start of the McDonald's All-American week festivities.

Practices for the McDonald's All-American game began Sunday afternoon and the 7-foot, 220-pound center has been impressive thus far. On Monday he scored eight points in a team scrimmage and got most of his buckets by running the floor.

"It's great competition because it's the best players in the nation," Zeller said. "You have to come out and play every day for practice because you never know what's going to happen. If you take a play off you are probably going to get dunked on."

"It's a little different with it being an all-star game because big guys don't see the ball quite as much," he said. "Going up against everybody is fun because you get to see where you're at and how much you need to improve."

Zeller, who cemented himself as one of the top prospects in the country last spring with Indy Elite, is the second member of his family to be named a McDonald's All-American. His brother Luke played in the game in 2005.

The McDonald's All-American game is the highest profile high school all-star game and Zeller feels privileged to be apart of it.

"It's a great feeling because you know you've accomplished something," Zeller said. "When you come out here they are all great players."

Zeller will suit up for the East team and will play in the post alongside Samardo Samuels, JaMychal Green and future college teammate Ed Davis. The Washington (Ind.) High product and Davis have had the opportunity to get to know each other well.

"Ed is actually my roommate so I've hung out with him quite a bit and I've talked to Larry [Drew]," Zeller said. "It's good to get to know them a little better."

Sunday evening Zeller and the rest of the participants took part in an EA Sports video game tournament. Zeller played with North Carolina and defeated JaMychal Green in the championship game.

"I got lucky a few times," Zeller said. "I ended up winning by one with a two at the end."

As far as the real game goes, Zeller, who averaged 32.1 points and 9.3 rebounds a game this past season, said he's going to treat the event on Wednesday night like it's a regular game.

"I don't really play all-star games a lot, so I don't really get in a different mind frame for it. I treat it just like any other game."

The game will be televised on ESPN. Tip-off is set for 9:30 EST.

Tyler Zeller Profile

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