Jalen Smith didn’t grow up watching the McDonald’s All American Game. The interest in the annual all-star game featuring the nation’s top players — and the dream to play in it — came only recently for the Maryland signee.
It started three years ago, when the forward was finishing his freshman year at Mount Saint Joseph and Australian Ben Simmons was the game’s marquee player in Chicago. Future Terp Diamond Stone was also on one of the teams.
“Once I saw some of those guys, I started thinking, ‘Maybe that could be me someday,’ ” Smith recalled Tuesday. “After that, I strived to get it.”
Smith, whom longtime Mount Saint Joseph coach Pat Clatchey has called “one of the...