Alterique Gilbert has always been a very serious teenager off the court. He’s neither too high or too low. The two-time state champ from Lithonia (GA) Miller Grove is all about that action.
When you see him smile you have to take notice. The Connecticut-bound point guard was smiling on cold Sunday night in Dayton, Ohio in the lobby of the Marriott hotel. Gilbert was one of the 24 high school players selected for the 2016 McDonald’s All-American game.
“I was in tears actually. It was amazing to be honored to play in that game is a great feeling,” Gilbert said. “I had no idea. So, I was kind of shocked. I was surprised. It brought tears to my eyes.”
He was quick to offer that he isn’t settling either.
“But I’m still working. I’m still trying to get better,” Gilbert said. “That’s always been my goal from day one.”
That mantra has served him well. In fact, the unassuming hardwood warrior earned his spot in high school basketball’s most coveted post-season honor. There isn’t a hype machine that surrounds him. There isn’t a constant agenda. The campaign has always been founded upon results.
The invite is the by-product of state championships, multiple travel basketball championships and Most Valuable Player awards and a spot within USA Basketball. Gilbert earned his spot for the all-star game in Chicago.
“Every time I stepped on the floor, I felt like I had something to prove,” Gilbert said. “I had to play with that chip on my shoulder.”
Gilbert will toe the line with some of the best point guards in the game. He’ll join De’Aaron Fox, Kobi Simmons, Andrew Jones, Markell Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Frank Jackson in practice. He’s on the same team as Ball and Jackson.
“It’s war anytime I step in between those lines,” Gilbert said. “I definitely get to compete against those guys. I haven’t some of those guys. I can’t wait for it.”