First and foremost, Marcus Smart is a winner. The senior is a three-year starter at Flower Mound Marcus, and during that time the Marauders have an astounding record: 105 wins, and just six losses.
Now, Smart is an All-American. He was selected to play in the annual Mc-Donald's All-American game, making him one of 24 players from around the country to be invited.
"I thank my teammates, because without them, none of this is possible," said Smart from a Highland Village Buffalo Wild Wings, where he and his teammates watched the selection show. "They push me, and without them, none of this is possible because they make me look good on and off the court."
It's a nice honor, and it comes as Marcus prepares for another long playoff run. They've gone to Austin for the state tournament two years in a row and won the championship last year. As the number one-ranked team in Texas, they're favored to win another one.
"But the target on our back is so much bigger, and the kids are well of that," said Marcus head coach Danny Henderson. "Because of that, we've tried to take a minefield mentality, where we just take one step at a time. We don't dare look ahead."
The first Mc-Donald's All-American game was held in 1977, and more than 800 guys have played in the game. Of those, 62 percent went on to play in the NBA. Playing in this game is a clear sign of what's ahead.
"Oh man that's an incredible percentage. You know the odds are against you trying to make it to the NBA, but 62%, that's incredible right there.
Marcus Smart fits the mold as a star-in-the-making. He's big, at 6-3, 200 pounds, and he does everything well. His numbers won't "wow" you, although they're certainly solid: 14 points, nine rebounds, and five assists per game. But he definitely passes the "eye" test.
Said his coach, "He has the unique ability to do that - to not score - and yet everyone in the arena knows he's the best player on the court."
"There's no other guy in the country that I'd take over Marcus Smart," said senior guard Phil Forte, who was among the final 150 players nominated to play in the McDonald's game. "I'd go to battle with that kid any day."
He's the first Marcus player to ever be named a McDonald's All-American, and as such, will likely become the school's first ever NBA player.