When Mount Carmel boys basketball coach Mike Flaherty first got the email, he thought it was a phishing scheme.
"I figured it wasn't real," Flaherty said. "With that Manti Te'o stuff that is going on, I figured someone was playing a joke on me, it was a hoax."
It wasn't and the email was for Flaherty to be the boys West team coach at the 36th annual McDonald's All-American Games at the United Center. The boys game is at 8:30 p.m. today.
"I am truly honored to coach these great young men and the chance to coach in the United Center," Flaherty said. "Being a Chicago guy (St. Rita grad), this is great and to coach that type of talent is really kind of cool."
He chose retiring Bloom Township coach Jasper Williams and his son Brian Flaherty to be his assistants. Brian is a T.F. South grad and is the Bremen boys basketball coach.
Brian Flaherty said the chance to coach with his dad and Williams is more than an honor.
"Just talking basketball with them and learning about the game is great," Flaherty said. "It's not so much being at practice, but before practice and listening to how they do things.
"Of course, being able to coach with my dad is just a great thing. Not a lot of guys have that chance."
Williams and Flaherty go back to when Mike was the head coach at Thornridge and Williams was his assistant coach. Williams took over in 1993-94 for one year while Mike cared for his dying wife.
"At whatever level Jasper was on, his only concern was what was best for the program -- not him or his team," Flaherty said. "He was a great motivator, a consistent disciplinarian, and an outstanding X's and O's guy. As good of a coach as he is, he's an even better person and friend. He's the type of person who represents all that's right about high school sports.
"When I got the opportunity to coach in the McDonald's All-American game he was the first person, I thought of."
"For Mike to name me as an assistant, what an honor from a great coach and friend," Williams said. "We go back a long time and Brian used to come to our open gyms in the summer, so I kind of watched him grow up and I am looking forward to coaching with both of them."