CHICAGO—He may not have known it, but Brad Beal made a rather bold statement by coming to the McDonald's All-American Games festivities wearing a black St. Louis Cardinals cap.
"I'm just trying to represent for St. Louis," Beal said in an interview during Tuesday's media day luncheon.
More than 24 hours later, Beal was a key contributor in what turned out to be a 111-96 win for the East Team.
So, how would Beal assess his representation of St. Louis?
"I hope I did good," he said. "I hope everyone is proud of me. That's why I wanted to win and do good."
Beal finished tied as the game's leading scorer with North Carolina-bound James McAdoo as each scored 17 points for the East squad. The 6-foot-5-inch guard also pulled down five rebounds and distributed four assists
"I was basically letting the game come to me," Beal said. "I was out there just trying to have fun. I found open shots and was just trying to knock them down."
McAdoo and Michael Gilchrist (16 points, seven rebounds, four assists) shared the Most Valuable Player award.
Beal scored 11 of his 17 points in the first half, shooting 4-for-9 from the field before intermission.
The Chaminade product bound for the University of Florida, , said he enjoyed the experience of playing with the country's best high school prospects.
"This is probably at the top of my achievements. Being named to play in this game with a bunch of top players in this class is such an honor," Beal said. "It's like what James (McAdoo) said earlier, thousands of kids are at home wishing they could be in our position. I'm soaking it all in and I'm thankful for being here."
Beal will have a chance to soak in more of the national exposure in over the next few weeks, as he's scheduled to participate in the Nike Hoops Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic next month, along with the nation's other elite high school basketball players.