Liberty County High School junior basketball sensation, and soon-to-be Tennessee Volunteer, Jordan McRae, was selected to the 2009 Adidas National team.
The squad is a national team created by Adidas that features the top players from the class of 2010 from across the United States.
Coached by former NBA player and head coach Frank Johnson, the squad will participate in a series of training sessions along with playing against top national and international competitors.
"It’s a great honor to be able to play with the best kids around the world," McRae said. "And it’s a great privilege to be one of the best and be selected to their team.
McRae said he is thrilled with the opportunity to travel the country. The Adidas team is scheduled to go to Las Vegas next week, Portland, Ore., and meet the Adidas teams from Canada, Latin America, Asia Europe and Africa at the Global Basketball Experience in August in Dallas.
McRae said he may get a chance to go overseas.
"They go out of the country every year," he said. "Last year the team went to Africa and Brazil." He said he hopes his team gets the same opportunity so he could experience it.
McRae is ranked ninth in the nation for the class of 2010 for his position as a shooting guard. He is ranked 28th in the nation for the entire class of 2010 basketball prospects according to Rivals.com.
His father, Cornelius McRae, said all the weekends spent traveling back and forth to and from Atlanta, where Jordan played for the AAU Atlanta Celtics, was time well spent preparing his son for a career in college basketball.
"I think he’s worked extremely hard in trying to achieve most of the things he’s achieved so far," he said. "I think it’s help him in terms of discipline and working towards his academic standards.
Academically, the athlete signed a letter of commitment to play at the University of Tennessee for head coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl has visited the school on two occasions, checking in on McRae’s progress.
"The ultimate goal was to go to college and now that I got that, I wanted to make teams like the Adidas Nations and the top 100 camps and make the McDonald’s game and get everything before I leave," McRae said.
McRae said he is staying in shape playing ball in the summer and added some weight training to his routine.
"I’m trying to lift weight real hard because I don’t want to be the only one in the morning lifting weights," he said referring to early morning workouts held by most college squads. "I want to be ready to play and not be pushed around on the court."
He said he will be playing with an AAU teammate who was also selected to the adidas squad and was glad to share the experience with someone he knew.
In June McRae was also selected to attend the NBA Top 100 players Camp at the University of Virginia.
Only the top 100 juniors in the nation are invited to attend.
"The top 100 camp is where a lot of NBA players come back and tell you how hard it is to make it to the NBA," McRae said. "Everything I’m doing now is to get one step closer to the NBA and play for their scouts."
His mother Paulette, and his dad think the experience will benefit their son and said an added benefit is that all the expenses will be paid for by Adidas and the NBA camp staff.
"Whatever comes out of this, I think it will make him a better person," Cornelius McRae said.