UPPER MARLBORO – Many Maryland basketball players have played in the McDonald’s All-American games, such as Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and recently Markelle Fultz, the former DeMatha Stag star. Deion Hammond, a guard out of Riverdale Baptist, has a chance to be the next participant from the Old Line State to compete in the games. […]
UPPER MARLBORO – Many Maryland basketball players have played in the McDonald’s All-American games, such as Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and recently Markelle Fultz, the former DeMatha Stag star.
Deion Hammond, a guard out of Riverdale Baptist, has a chance to be the next participant from the Old Line State to compete in the games.
The McDonald’s All-American premier game is scheduled for March 29 in Chicago. Hammond awaits the tally of the final votes to see if he is nominated to play.
Hammond is one of three players in Prince Georges County to be in the running to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Games. Alongside Hammond are DeMatha stud and Notre Dame commit D.J. Harvey and Bishop McNamara playmaker and LaSalle University commit Jamir Moultrie.
“Being picked for this game would prove to me that all of my hard work paid off,” Hammond said. “It would be another blessing that God has given me.”
It was not until Jan. 11 that Hammond found out he was nominated for the All-American Games.
“People kept texting me congratulations, and then my dad sent me the link to the nomination list and my name was there,” Hammond said.
Hammond has made an enormous impact at Riverdale Baptist and averaged 12.6 points and 2.8 rebounds-per-game last year. This year his numbers have increased and should continue to grow as he averages 15.4 points and 3.1 rebounds-per-game.
He has started for the Crusaders at shooting guard since his sophomore year and has received many honors, such as being named MVP of the D.C. Title IX Championship, being named Top 20 on the National Hoops Fest list, and being named to the second team all-conference team in the Capital Beltway League.
His latest achievement was winning MVP of the Basketball Academy at Morgan State University when Riverdale Baptist defeated Patterson on Jan. 13.
“This nomination means a lot to me, and it’s a real honor,” Hammond said. “To be selected with all of the top basketball players in the country is just an honor, I can’t believe it.”
Fellow guard Wayne Bristol said Hammond could be a future draft pick and would go down in Crusaders history. Bristol matches up with him most of the time in their scrimmages and says they push each other every time they are on the floor.
“Playing with Deion is a lot of fun,” Bristol said. “He pushes all of us to be great and nothing less. We push each other to get better all the time. He is just a big-time player, and he is a great team player, and he drives all of us to achieve greatness.”
Hammond’s coach, Lou Wilson, was last year’s coach for one of the teams in the main event.
“Coaching in the McDonald’s All-American game was such an honor and a blessing; to be selected by your peers and to be recognized as one of the best high school coaches in America,” Wilson said. “If Deion is selected, I would just tell him to be humble and soak up the Ronald McDonald experience.”
Wilson said Hammond earned this opportunity and has been a blessing to the Riverdale Baptist community for the years he has been there.
“Deion has just made me so proud,” Wilson said. “He has a work ethic to go a long way in life, on and off the court. God has given him the ability to guide his team in an amazing way.
“He has many MVP awards this season, and there are much more for this young man. He has earned and accepted a scholarship offer to Monmouth University. He has been a blessing to the Riverdale Baptist community, his teammates and me. He is just an outstanding young man.”