Myles Turner experienced two things he isn’t accustomed to at the 37th McDonald’s All American Game: taking a back seat and losing.
The Euless Trinity star recorded seven points and seven rebounds in about 19 minutes of action, but his East squad fell 105-102 to the West in the high school all-star event at the United Center on Wednesday.
Justin Jackson of Tomball and Jahlil Okafor of Chicago shared MVP honors for the East and West, respectively.
Jackson poured in a game-high 23 points on 11-for-13 shooting and Okafor collected 17 points and seven rebounds.
“It was a great experience,” Turner said. “I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a freshman. It was everything it was built up to be.”
Turner took a team-low three shots but showed why he is one of the most highly touted big men in the country.
He buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key two minutes into the game and added two free throws in the first half.
“I can’t lie, I had an adrenaline rush and was a bit nervous,” Turner said. “It was huge to get rid of the nerves and hit a quick shot to build confidence.”
Turner was the only person on the court who could consistently guard Okafor, who is widely regarded as the top prospect in the 2014 high school class. Turner blocked an Okafor shot in the first half.
In the second half Turner showed his strength and footwork, using a nifty head fake to draw a foul from Thomas Welsh and convert a three-point play.
The seesaw contest had 21 lead changes.
James Blackmon Jr. hit a floater to slice the East’s deficit to 101-100 with 1:19 left. Okafor answered with a dunk and Kelly Oubre Jr. sank two free throws to give the West a 105-102 advantage.
Blackmon missed an off-balance 3-point attempt with three seconds left that would have tied the game.
Emmanuel Mudiay (Dallas Prime Prep) finished with 15 points and six assists for the West. He sped past a defender for a one-handed dunk just before the end of the first half to slim the East lead to 51-50.
Turner had to watch from the bench during the final minutes. The all-star game had a bevy of substitutions and Turner’s name wasn’t called into action down the stretch.
“It was a little disappointing at the end, but that was the flow of the game,” Turner said. “It’s a little frustrating not being able to help the team but there’s nothing you can do about it and it’s not going to sour this experience.”
In the girls game, Ariel Atkins of Duncanville recorded 12 points to lead the West to an 80-78 victory.