George Washington Carver HS/Georgetown University
Critics said he couldn’t shoot. But, oh, could he score!
A sensational four-year high-school basketball career propelled Perry McDonald to legendary athletic status in the Desire area of New Orleans. Couple that with a collegiate career as part of one of the most successful basketball programs of the 1980s and McDonald’s induction into the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame is a no-brainer.
McDonald was a four-time all-state selection at George Washington Carver High School from 1980 to 1984. Through athleticism, determination and toughness, he amassed 2,227 points for a career average of 23.9 points a game. In 1983 and 1984, he was the Times-Picayune’s Metro Most Valuable Player.
The 1984 season was perhaps his best as he led Carver to a 23-3 record including 17 victories in a row. The Rams reached the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, losing to eventual state runner-up Booker T. Washington.
After his sterling high school career, McDonald played his college basketball at Georgetown University under the direction of Hall of Fame coach John Thompson. He played in all 38 games during his freshman season, helping the Hoyas reach the Final Four where they were upset in an unforgettable final by Villanova.
After a back injury limited his sophomore season, 1986 was his breakthrough year. Though standing only six-four, McDonald was moved from the backcourt to the frontcourt and he averaged 13 points and six rebounds and was named Second Team All-Big East as well as honorable mention All America.
McDonald made his mark on the defensive end of the court at Georgetown. As the Hoyas designated “defensive stopper,” his assignments ranged from point guards to centers. In a 1987 contest against high-powered Syracuse, Thompson put McDonald in the low post against 6-11 center Rony Seikaly. Seikaly managed just four field goals and McDonald’s turnaround jumper at the buzzer in overtime gave Georgetown a thrilling two-point win.
Later that season, the Hoyas again topped the Orangemen, this time at the Carrier Dome, thanks to a career-high 26 points from the New Orleans-product in a 72-71 win.
Prior to his senior season at Georgetown, McDonald was selected to represent the United States in the 1987 World University Games. He scored 18 points in the medal round win over Cuba and finished fourth in scoring ahead of future NBA stars Sean Elliott and B. J. Armstrong.
As a senior at Georgetown, McDonald, now a team captain, again averaged in double figures in scoring to go with six rebounds per game – leading the Hoyas on the glass for the second consecutive season. More importantly, he again led his squad to the NCAA Tournament, marking his fourth appearance in the Big Dance in four years of action.
As part of Georgetown’s centennial basketball celebration, the school selected the top 100 players in the history of the school. McDonald was number 30 on the list. He was recognized as the epitome of the hard-nosed, physical skills of the great Georgetown teams of the 1980s.