Friday, March 28, 2008
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Al-Farouq Aminu didn't delude himself with thoughts of grandeur before the McDonald's All-American game.
A week before tip-off, at the Georgia send off for the Norcross senior, Dunwoody's Chris Singleton and Etowah's Alicia Manning, Aminu conceded a tempered outlook for the game.
"I am just trying to have fun," he said. "Even if I don't score a point, the experience itself it rewarding."
Dunwoody's Singleton, a Florida State signee, also scored zero points, missing his only shot. But he did pull down seven rebounds.
Aminu may not have scored a point, but the Wake Forest signee didn't waste his trip to Milwaukee. Sure his 12 minutes yielded a paltry no points on 0 of 4 shooting, four rebounds and a steal for the three-time AAAAA state champion, but the trip lasted longer than 12 minutes.
Aminu played and practiced with and against the top basketball players in the country, some of whom he knew and others he had only heard of. He played with game MVP and Wooden Award winner Tyreke Evans and he also got a look at future ACC foes Ed Davis (UNC), Elliot Williams (Duke), Tyler Zeller (UNC), Sylven Landesberg (Virginia), Singleton (Florida State), Larry Drew (UNC) and Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech).
And Aminu, who rarely loses a basketball game, won again as his East team pulled out a 107-102 victory over the West. He may have hoped for a dunk on the nationally-televised game, but it was not his first time on TV and it won't be his last.
An experience like that can only make him better.