Brockman scaled golden arches in ‘05
Bucks forward reached goal with McDonald's All-American selection
By Truman Reed
If you've seen the video on Bucks.com of Jon Brockman's amazing repertoire of trick shots, you can fully understand how the Milwaukee Bucks forward from Snohomish, Washington - populated by a mere 8,494 citizens when the 2000 census was taken - was discovered and selected to participate in the prestigious McDonald's High School All-American Basketball Game back in 2005.
Maybe Brockman didn't have quite the uncanny shooting accuracy as a high school senior that he displays on his video, but he was a straight enough shooter to average 30.2 points per outing and score 51 in a single game. He also ripped down 14 rebounds per contest and was rated among the top 20 college prospects in the nation by most of the top recruiting analysts.
Brockman's prowess earned him a scholarship to the University of Washington, where he led the Pac 10 Conference in rebounding as a sophomore, junior and senior. He became a two-time all-conference selection, a third-team All-American as a senior and left the campus as the Huskies' all-time leading rebounder and second-ranking all-time scorer.
Before he began his record-setting collegiate career, though, Brockman fulfilled a longtime goal as one of 24 participants in the McDonald's classic in March of 2005. He is one of just three current Milwaukee Bucks - Corey Maggette and Brandon Jennings being the others - to play in the elite showcase.
"Becoming a McDonald's All-American was definitely a goal of mine in high school," Brockman said. "I grew up watching the game and the dunk contest every year. I wanted to be in that position.
"I remember being really, really excited when I found out I'd be able to do that."
Remarkably, two of Brockman's Friends of Hoop AAU teammates - Martell Webster and Micah Downs - joined him as selections to the McDonald's West squad, which included seven players destined for the National Basketball Association.
The East roster was no slouch, either.
"Josh McRoberts, Tyler Hansbrough, Amir Johnson, Louis Williams, Monta Ellis, Andrew Bynum, C.J. Miles and Martell Webster all played in that game," Brockman said. "We had a good group out there on the court."
Most of the participants were not strangers to each other, despite the fact that many of them grew up thousands of miles apart.
"You know most of the people from the AAU circuit," Brockman said, "so you're kind of like buddies from playing in so many tournaments together."
The 2005 McDonald's game was played at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Once Brockman arrived in town, he entered a beehive of activity.
"I remember it being just a real busy week," he said. "You go and do a lot of different stuff. You listen to some great speakers. Bill Russell was one of the guys who spoke to us. I still have the ring they give to you for making the team. It's sitting on a shelf at my parents' house.
"It was a really fun week, kind of like a taste of this (the NBA) before college. There's media all over the place. You're not used to all of that in high school. You get a little more of that in college, especially if you go to the NCAA Tournament.
"We visited the College Football Hall of Fame. We were doing activities all the time. They don't want you to have any down time. They don't want guys getting in trouble, either."
The McDonald's All-Americans typically visit the local Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home-away-from-home for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. The Houses are built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child - not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal or where they will lay their head at night to rest.
Brockman enjoyed his visit to the Ronald McDonald House, where he experienced what it was like to visit children and their families who are dealing with serious illness.
"That first experience kind of sparked my interest," Brockman said. "I thought it was really cool. I ended up doing it quite often in Seattle when I was going to school at Washington."
Brockman was presented with Washington's community service award for three consecutive seasons during his collegiate career.
"Ever since we visited the McDonald House, I thought, `Wow. You can really make a difference.' I think I take as much out of it as the little kids do. Last year, I went a couple extra times."
The preliminary activities to the All-American Game include the slam dunk, 3-point shooting and skills competitions.
"I was in the dunk contest and made the finals," Brockman said. "I got fourth place. Gerald Green won the contest, Josh McRoberts took second and Amir Johnson was third."
Brockman had already committed to attend Washington prior to his McDonald's stint. But a number of his fellow All-Americans had not, and he remembers a lot of conversation where different players might be headed. There was even some unofficial recruiting going on among them.
"I remember a little bit of talk about the guys who hadn't committed yet," Brockman said. "And there was some talk between the guys who had and the guys who hadn't - guys trying to recruit each other. That happens a lot at the camps, too, like the NIKE All-American Camp. Some guys will commit, too, while they're at the camp so the word gets out."
Brockman played 18 minutes, hit three of six shots and finished with six points and seven rebounds in the game, which his West team lost to the East, 115-110. McRoberts, a native Indianan, scored 17 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and was named most valuable player.
"I just remember it being a typical all-star game," Brockman said. "A lot of times, a guy's play in that game can be a determining factor in where he goes.
"That (2005) was the last year in which guys could go straight to the NBA out of high school, so the game was a big deal for some guys who had already committed to a school, but were considering turning pro.
"I remember Louis Williams played very well. Monta Ellis came out and played really well. Gerald Green won the dunk contest and he went in the draft after that (all three players were selected in the NBA Draft three months later).
"I also remember people making a big deal out of Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts playing together and the fact that they were both going to Duke."
The 2005 McDonald's game proved to be a launching pad. Seven of the participants - Louis Williams, Monta Ellis, Gerald Green, Amir Johnson, C.J. Miles, Martell Webster and Andrew Bynum - were chosen in that year's NBA Draft. Webster and Bynum were both lottery picks.
|Milwaukee Bucks McDonald's All-American Alumni|
|Alaa Abdelnaby, 1986
Benoit Benjamin, 1982
Keith Bogans, 1999
Jon Brockman, 2005
Dell Curry, 1982
Todd Day, 1988
Kenny Fields, 1980
Marcus Fizer, 1997
T.J. Ford, 2001
Dan Gadzuric, 1998
Litterial Green, 1988
Zendon Hamilton, 1994
Darrin Hancock, 1990
Cedric Henderson, 1983
Julius Hodge, 2001
Jerald Honeycutt, 1993
Tito Horford, 1985
Richard Jefferson, 1998
Brandon Jennings, 2008
Earl Jones, 1980
Jeff Lamp, 1977
|Andrew Lang, 1984
Brad Lohaus, 1982
Corey Maggette, 1998
Danny Manning, 1984
Lee Mayberry, 1988
Elliot Perry, 1987
Ed Pinckney, 1981
Dave Popson, 1983
Joel Przybilla, 1998
J.R. Reid, 1986
Luke Ridnour, 2000
Glenn Robinson, 1991
Jerry Stackhouse, 1993
Tim Thomas, 1996
Robert Traylor, 1995
Charlie Villanueva, 2003
Sam Vincent, 1981
Mo Williams, 2001
Scott Williams, 1986
Rickie Winslow, 1983
Joe Wolf, 1983