“Yeah the nickname… I’m not sure who or where it started. It’s usually people in the media that use it,” he says.
The nickname of course is “White Chocolate.” McCabe's videos on YouTube have become the stuff of legend. A clip done by CityLeagueHoopsTV in April 2014 during McCabe’s 8th grade year, in which the diminutive ballhandler shows off a series of flashy passes and moves, now has 887,000 hits. Another from BallisLife from December of 2014, when McCabe was still only a freshman in high school, has – get this – 2.4 million views.
Despite his social media notoriety, McCabe says he tries to keep a level head and focus on basketball.
“I don't ever associate myself with that nickname or those mixtapes,” said McCabe. “I am not involved in any of that other than playing the game.”
And playing the game is something he is doing very well. McCabe is running with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors AAU team on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit. So far, the team has amassed a 20-5 record. In true point guard fashion, McCabe displays his leadership skills by taking the emphasis off himself and placing it on the team.
“I (don’t chart) my individual performance. As a point guard, I track my progress based on wins/losses. While we have done well overall, we aren't satisfied and have things to prove (this) summer. We are always striving to win championships,” he says, displaying a wisdom that belies his age."
The 5’11” / 165-pound McCabe said he gets along great with the West Virginia coaching staff.
“Coach Huggins is always great to talk with and he even flew out to my school a few weeks ago. I also talk with the other coaches often and get great advice from them all. Overall it has been a great experience building the relationships with the entire staff.”
Huggins is known as a coach who builds relationships. He makes early contact with recruits and then develops a deep bond with that player. One need look no further than recent Mountaineer Devin Williams to see an example of this relationship building. He first recruited Williams when he was a raw, young player at Withrow High School in Cincinnati. Coach and player maintained that contact throughout his time at Withrow and later when Williams moved on to Montverde Academy in Florida. However, the loyalty shown to him by the Mountaineer coach was the deciding factor as Williams turned down late pushes from Memphis and Ohio State to sign with WVU. Huggins also built such a relationship with 2015 signee Esa Ahmad and is attempting to do the same with Ohio forward Derek Culver. McCabe is a player that West Virginia zeroed in on early and made a priority for the 2018 recruiting class.
McCabe sees himself as loyal too, and as such, he is no hurry to make a school choice. “I don't have a specific timeline. I know I have two years of high school left and a lot can change within a program. I just want to be 100% positive when I do make my decision since I am a very loyal person and will be 100% committed once I do decide.”
McCabe currently hold offers from WVU, Minnesota, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, DePaul, Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Missouri. There is also interest from Iowa State, Marquette, Michigan State, Virginia, Xavier and home state Wisconsin.
“I am looking for a school that is the best fit for me overall both academically and athletically,” said McCabe. "[I look at] the style of play, coaching staff, how they develop their players and ultimately a program striving to win championships every year. I’ve never really had one dream school. There are a lot of great schools and programs that I would be open to based on the best fit..
He has already been to West Virginia several times.
“I have been to the WVU campus twice. Once for the elite camp and then once last fall where I got to see the campus more and attend a basketball and football game. Overall I was impressed with the campus, facilities and coaching staff. Everyone was great,” McCabe said. "I am focused on developing my game and have a pretty busy schedule. I usually find out last minute on where I am going for school visits.”
His AAU team is winding down the spring season by playing a few regional tournaments in May before finishing up with the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in South Carolina, the NY2LA Summer Jam in Milwaukee and the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas. He says he has some individual camps in June and has been invited to participate in the Pangos All-American camp in Los Angeles, as well as the NBPA Top 100 camp in Virginia.
“I'm really looking forward to competing against the best and learning from some of the top coaches in the country.”