John Carroll’s Immanuel Quickley and Mount St. Joseph’s Jalen Smith named McDonald’s All-Americans
It’s no secret in this area that Baltimore high school boys’ basketball is enjoying one of its finest seasons in a long time, with tons of Division I talent spread across many area rosters.
Now, that fact has been underscored with the selection of two Baltimore players to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Team – John Carroll’s University of Kentucky bound point guard Immanuel Quickley and Mount St. Joseph’s athletic power forward Jalen Smith, who is headed to the University of Maryland next year.
It is the first time since 1994 when Cardinal Gibbons legend Steve Wojciehowski and Dunbar standout Norman Noland were named McDonald’s All-Americans that Baltimore has put two players in the classic in the same year.
Quickley has one of the best all-around games in the nation and signed with Kentucky after flirting with joining Smith at Maryland and entertaining offers from dozens of power programs who had been recruiting him since the ninth grade.
Smith has steadily seen his stock rise over the last year, since he helped lead St. Joe to a sweep of the MIAA A Conference and Baltimore Catholic League championships. At 6-foot-9, he is blessed with soft hands, an excellent shooting touch and great leaping ability, which makes him an excellent defender and shot blocker.
“It’s a great honor” said Smith after scoring 23 points in his team’s win at Boy’s Latin on Tuesday night. “It shows that a lot of people are noticing me and are seeing the hard work and dedication that I put into basketball.”
Quickly responded in a similar fashion.
“All glory to God, but just great to know all my hard work is paying off,” said Quickley. “Also, it lets me know that I must keep working to eventually achieve the ultimate goal of making the NBA.”
Quickley and Smith will both be on the East Team for the nationally televised game which will be played on March 28th at Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
The girls game will also feature a Maryland player, as Riverdale Baptist star Shakira Austin, who will play at the University of Maryland, was also named a McDonald’s All-American.