Five Things to Know: DAVID McCORMACK
Six-foot-10 center David McCormack (Oak Hill Academy/Norfolk, Va.) will be in a class of his own at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit, where he will be the only member of the 2018 USA Men’s Junior National Select Team taking part in his first USA Basketball experience.
No matter, the University of Kansas-bound McCormack told USAB.com that will not be a factor.
Red, White & Blue Rookie
Despite being a USA Basketball rookie, the Nike Hoop Summit landed on McCormack’s radar in 2017.
“I had a former teammate play in the game, Lindell Wigginton,” McCormack explained. “It’s just a really big game, all of the top high school athletes are competing for their nation.”
McCormack will have a current teammate by his side at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit in fellow Oak Hill athlete Keldon Johnson (Sterling, Va.), who also was named the 2018 USA Junior National Select Team.
“Keldon is one of my good friends,” said McCormack. “I’ve known Keldon for four or five years now, way before Oak Hill. We have a really good relationship. Definitely it will help me be more comfortable on the court with him there.”
And, the USA Basketball invitation was a meaningful highlight as he wraps up his prep career.
“It was a very commemorative moment,” McCormack said. “It was a big deal to be selected. I felt that I somewhat proved myself to be able to play for USA Basketball.”
On the Rise
As a senior at Oak Hill in 2017-18, McCormack helped his team to a 30-4 record, a 9A state title and an invitation to the Geico High School Basketball Nationals Tournament (March 29-31 in New York City).
“The past few summers are when I really started to increase my notability, and this high school season definitely has had a part in that,” McCormack said. “Honestly, it is a bonus for all of the hard work I have put in. I didn’t expect to be selected for the Nike Hoop Summit. So, it’s definitely a bonus.”
Though nearing his final games in an Oak Hill jersey, McCormack and his high school teammates still have work to do at the high school nationals.
“I really put forth the effort that I wanted to,” McCormack said of his final prep season. “I didn’t do anything half-heartedly. I went into the season with my whole heart and to the best of my ability, I left everything on the court.
“That nothing is able to penetrate our team chemistry,” he said of hopes for Oak Hill’s final games. “Every team has its falls and rises, but we are going to be able to stick to it all and hopefully walk away with another national title for Oak Hill.”
GameDaySportsStars posted a feature on McCormack and Oak Hill on YouTube on Jan. 26, 2018.
When McCormack first transferred to Oak Hill from Norfolk Academy (Va.) ahead of his junior season, a physical change was one of his goals, and he dropped about 40 pounds that season.
“I wouldn’t say it is hard, but it is very meticulous,” McCormack said of maintaining his weight. “I have to be very careful as to what I put in my body, knowing what I want out of myself. Going forward, I just knew I needed to lose weight and tone and build if I really want to be prosperous in basketball. So, I had to keep my dedication and my mentality right to do what I needed to do to better myself.”
McCormack will take his talents to the University of Kansas in 2018-19.
“They have a really great history for basketball and for developing their players,” McCormack said of why he chose Kansas. “Many bigs went there, many players went there that were already high-caliber players but throughout the season became even better players. The tradition there was astonishing, and I could really see myself progressing as a player there.”
Of course, he will be watching Kansas in the Final Four.
“It is kind of off and on,” McCormack said of his nerves during KU tournament games. “It is a nail-bitter because this is the season of the underdogs. But, I’m relaxed because I know Kansas knows how to adjust and adapt to different styles of play.”
WAVY TV 10 aired McCormack's decision day.
Perhaps made even more effective because of his size, McCormack said his mental toughness is one of his greatest strengths.
“I would say my work ethic and my dedication. Regardless, my motto is to never be outworked, whether someone is maybe shorter than me, or taller than me or even maybe more skilled than me, but I won’t be outworked. So, I make sure I put forth more of an effort than my opponent.”
By the Way
If you notice fancy footwork, it may just be due in part to some early cross-training.
“I used to play football and did track. I stopped my sophomore year. For track, I did shotput and discuss. I wanted to maintain and focus on basketball. I do miss some things, but I gave it up for the greater good.”
To close it out, check out Overtime's post on March 1, 2018, which is a full page of McCormack highlights, such as the one below: itsovertime.com/david-mccormack-paint
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/nikehoopsummit2018.