A big week for Libbey basketball star William Buford got even bigger last night when the 6-foot-5 Ohio State-bound guard was named to the 21-member Jordan Brand All-American team.
That selection will put Buford in the seventh annual Jordan Classic national high school all-star game at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 19. The 9 p.m. game will be aired live on ESPN2.
On Tuesday night it was announced that Buford was one of 24 prep players selected to play in the top high school national all-star contest, the 32nd annual McDonald's All-American game. That game is set for March 26 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee and will air live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m.
"It feels real good," Buford said of the honors, "like dreams really do come true. I really didn't think these things would happen for me, but I'm happy they did. God has blessed me."
Buford - whose fourth-ranked Libbey Cowboys (18-2) open Division II state tournament play tonight at 6:15 against Bryan in a sectional final at Anthony Wayne High School - is one of three Ohioans named to the Jordan Brand team, which is affiliated with former NBA superstar Michael Jordan and the Jordan division of Nike Inc.
Also named to the team was another Ohio State signee, 7-foot-1 center B.J. Mullens of Canal Winchester, and 6-9 Lakewood St. Edward star Delvon Roe, who will play at Michigan State. Roe was lost for the rest of his senior prep season in December, when a knee injury required micro surgery.
Buford, a three-time City League player of the year and a first-team All-Ohioan in 2007, leads the Cowboys with averages of 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.
"I'm really excited and looking forward to playing in those games," Buford said. "It's a big compliment to be considered one of the top players in the nation, and being a part of the tradition of those games.
"But I'm trying to stay focused on what we're trying to do right now, and that's taking one game at a time and trying to win a state championship."
Buford has scored 1,892 points in his four-year varsity career, second only to former Macomber, Ohio State and NBA star Jim Jackson (2,328) in City League history. Jackson is the only other Toledoan to play in the prestigious McDonald's game, appearing in 1989 after led his Macmen to the D-I state championship that year.