Whitney Young’s Jahlil Okafor said he wanted to go out with a bang in his last time playing as a high school senior in the City of Chicago.
So when his West squad defeated an East team featuring Curie big man Cliff Alexander by a final score of 105-102 in the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center on Wednesday night, Okafor took home co-MVP honors.
"The game was really fun. I really wanted to play well in this game being the last time I play in Chicago as a high schooler,” Okafor said. “Coach Frank [Allocco] really challenged me to compete through the practices and the game, and I think I did that tonight."
The Duke-bound big man finished the game with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Alexander, who is headed to Kansas next season, finished with nine points and 11 rebounds while playing with a heavily taped right wrist which he injured during Tuesday night’s Powerade Jam Fest.
"It's cool," Alexander said of his injured wrist and the number of missed dunks he had on the night. "It got better since (Tuesday). It had nothing to do with the missed dunks. I just missed them. No excuses."
Marian Catholic’s Tyler Ulis, another local standout who is heading to Kentucky next season, also played well. Despite being the smallest player on the court, Ulis’ heady play was something to take notice of. He finished the game with five points, three assists and three rebounds.