The McDonald's All-American Game is the most hyped event on the annual high school hoops calendar. Being named a McD's All-American establishes any top prospect as the cream of the crop and all but ensures that their whereabouts will be followed for the rest of their lives (or at least until they become a principal in suburban Michigan or a manager of a Denny's if basketball doesn't work out).
Given the sheer talent on display from the game's selectees, it's a bit surprising that one would spend his time off the court at a part time job. What's even more stunning is where that top recruit is employed: Wendy's.
That's right, Alex Poythress, among the jewels of another stunning incoming Kentucky class, spends his off days working at Wendy's. As the video above from Ty Kish of CityLeagueHoopsTV shows, Poythress initially applied at a Wendy's down the street from his Clarksville (Tenn.) Northeast High campus as a joke, but was called back in and offered a job.
That's when Poythress had a decision: Already on track to be a McDonald's All-American, he could walk away from earning minimum wage at a competing fast food joint, or he could take the job and assume that no one would notice.
Poythress went all-in, likely making him the only ongoing Wendy's employee to play in McDonald's signature event.
"I just applied when someone else applied but I ended up getting the job," Poythress told CityLeagueHoops. "I thought I might as well keep it."
So far life seems to be going well for Poythress at Wendy's, too. The teen has been working at the burger joint for three months and had only one significant complaint: He hates making wraps.
"I hate making wraps. Cesar wraps … all the wraps. You have to cut the chicken up and everything. The wraps are horrible."
While some might argue that Poythress is only taking undue risk by working at a Wendy's -- he could cut his hand, he could gain weight by eating fast food -- the job also shows a significant amount of initiative. If nothing else, it testifies to his work ethic that he would take a job during basketball season while already balancing hoops and school.
It's impossible to know whether Poythress will eventually be playing in the NBA, earning the kind of money that would take years of Wendy's hours to rack up. Given his star turn in high school -- the 6-foot-8 power forward averaged 30.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game as a senior -- professional basketball certainly seems like a likely outcome if he can stay healthy and continue to perform.
Still, if things don't work out, at least Poythress will know that he always has some initial work experience to lean back on.