Bullock named one of nation's best prep basketball players
February 14, 2010North Carolina
By Ryan Herman
Kinston Free Press
KINSTON - In September, the City of Kinston was honored as an All-America City.
On Thursday, that All-America City became home to an All American athlete.
Reggie Bullock, the superstar hoopster at Kinston High, was one of 24 prep basketball players across the nation named a McDonald's All American, the organization announced on live television on ESPNU.
Bullock is one of 12 who will represent the East in the 38th installment of the game widely considered the Pulitzer Prize of high school basketball. The game will be televised live on ESPN at 8 p.m. on March 31 from the campus of Ohio State University.
"I feel honored, and with all the awards I've been given in high school, I feel really blessed," Bullock said. "I want to give thanks to everyone who did something in my life or helped me get to where I am today."
The 6-foot-7 swingman - who has already signed with North Carolina and been named to the U.S. Junior National Select Team - is the second player from Kinston to garner such an award, but is the first to do so while graduating from the school.
Jerry Stackhouse, a Kinston native, was a McDonald's All American in 1993 but did so while attending Oak Hill (Va.) Academy after transferring from Kinston High.
"I feel real honored to be the first person to come from Kinston High to stay all four years," Bullock said. "I'm actually leaving my footprint throughout all the great names that have been a McDonald's All American.
"I'm basically putting this on for my city, so I'm going to do everything I can to put Kinston on the map."
Joining Bullock will be his future Tar Heels teammates, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall. The trio gives North Carolina head coach Roy Williams three more All Americans next season and 61 total in the school's storied program since the game was created in 1977.
Bullock was selected through a process from which over 1,500 nominations were given - 36 from North Carolina. The team is then narrowed down by votes submitted by various national prep writers, media members, scouts and nationally-renowned prep coaches.
Locally, Bullock has created a buzz with not only his play but what his play has led him to.
About 100 people showed up Thursday evening at the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitor's Center where ESPNU's announcement was shown live to the team and others on a projection screen.
Fans and non-sports fans alike are relishing the fact that another big-time athlete is getting their tiny Eastern North Carolina town plenty of recognition, and this time, he's staying around to do so.
"It's great for the City of Kinston because it puts us on the map again," Earl Keith, 51, a Kinston graduate and native, said. "This has always been a basketball community, but for Reggie to get this award, it really puts Kinston back on the map."
Even the newly-elected mayor has gotten in on the action. Mayor B.J. Murphy took time out of his busy day to personally congratulate Bullock on his accomplishments.
"The City of Kinston wishes to extend congratulations to Reggie Bullock, Coach (Wells) Gulledge and Kinston High School for Reggie being named a McDonald's 2010 All American High School Basketball player," he said. "Our community is very proud to have watched this young man become a nationwide standout and future UNC Tar Heel.
"Reggie's commitment to team play and humble persona make him not only a great athlete but a model citizen. Our young people should look to young men like Reggie and be committed to having a solid character, determined heart and commitment to success."
Both family members and fans alike cheered when the televised broadcast took about 30 seconds to dissect Bullock's play. With highlights showing Bullock participating in AAU competition, the announcers mentioned his shooting touch as well as his passing ability as reasons why he was selected.
Those abilities have made his Vikings teammates better around him, who are 19-3 overall and unbeaten in the Eastern Plains 2A at 10-0 and in search of another state championship.
Freshman Josh Dawson, the nephew of former Kinston standout and Wake Forest University star Craig Dawson, has taken notice and hopes to follow Bullock's lead.
So does the rest of Kinston.
"I'm trying to get where he's at," Dawson said. "That's why I'm playing harder. I want to be like him."
2010 MCDONALD'S ALL AMERICAN BOYS ROSTERS
G Reggie Bullock - Kinston (N.C.); North Carolina
F Tobias Harris - Hollow Hills (N.Y.); Tennessee
G Kyle Irving - St. Patrick (N.J.); Duke
G Joe Jackson - White Station (Tenn.); Memphis
C Perry Jones III - Duncanville (Texas); Baylor
G Jelan Kendrick - Wheeler (Ga.); Memphis
F C.J. Leslie - Raleigh Word of God (N.C.); Undecided
G Kendall Marshall - Bishop O'Connell (Va.); North Carolina
F Jayvaughn Pinkston - Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.); Villanova
G Josh Selby - Lake Clifton (Md.); Undecided
C Jared Sullinger - Northland (Ohio); Ohio State
F Deshaun Thomas - Bishop Luers (Ind.); Ohio State
G Keith Appling - Detroit Pershing (Mich.); Michigan State
F Harrison Barnes - Ames (Iowa); North Carolina
F Terrence Jones - Jefferson (Ore.); Undecided
G Cory Joseph - Findlay Prep (Nev.); Undecided
G Brandon Knight - Pine Crest (Fla.); Undecided
G Doron Lamb - Oak Hill Academy (Va.); Undecided
G Ray McCallum - Detroit Country Day (Mich.); Undecided
C Fab Melo - Sagemont (Fla.); Syracuse
F Jereme Richmond - Waukegan (Ill.); Illinois
C Joshua Smith - Kentwood (Wash.); UCLA
F Tristan Thomas - Findlay Prep (Nev.); Texas
F Patric Young - Providence (Fla.); Florida