Pinewood Prep basketball star Milton Jennings has been selected to play in the prestigious McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game, which will be played April 1 in Miami.
Jennings is one of the most decorated basketball players in state history. He's been selected all-state four times in his illustrious career and is the reigning Gatorade state player of the year. The 6-9 senior, rated the No. 12 player in the country, according to Rivals, now gets a chance to showcase his skills in the national all-star game.
He's the first player from the Lowcountry to be selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game, and is the first player from the Palmetto State to play since 2002, when Latta's Raymond Felton was selected. Only 10 players from South Carolina have been selected to play in the 32 years the game has been held.
The teams were announced Wednesday night on ESPNU, and Jennings tuned in. He will play for the East team.
"It was really special seeing your name up there with a bunch of great basketball players," said Jennings, who will play college ball at Clemson. "I'm the only player from South Carolina, so I am going down there to spread the word about Clemson basketball."
Jennings said it is one of the biggest honors he has received.
"Not only do I get to play basketball, but I get to go down there and show people what kind of person I am," he said. "I can't wait to visit the hospital and work with some of the charities they support. One of the things I remember most about a couple years ago was seeing Michael Beasley visiting the hospital and holding a baby. It's a great honor for me, my family and friends."
Said Pinewood Prep coach Pat Eidson, "It's a super honor. I've been in the Lowcountry for 20 years and I don't recall anybody in the Lowcountry getting selected to play in the McDonald's game. Only 24 players from around the country were picked, so he's in a very select group. That's pretty impressive."
Jennings, who recently topped 2,500 points in his career, is averaging 22.1 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Panthers, who are 25-5 and are seeking their fourth straight SCISA Class AAA state championship.
"Growing up, I was one of the worst players," Jennings said. "I wasn't even close to being good. This shows what hard work and direction will do."
Nine players from the Palmetto State were nominated to play in the game, including Porter-Gaud's Khris Middleton and Georgetown's Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard of Georgetown.