GARNER — Scotty McCreery swung his microphone like a baseball bat at the end of a song on "American Idol" as a signal for the band to stop playing.
Now, that move is captured on a new sports mural at Garner High School that honors Scotty and other famous figures in the school's history.
Scotty, who won "Idol" and is now a senior at the school, was on hand Friday as Garner High unveiled the mural at the entrance to its sports complex.
The teen is pictured next to former Garner High basketball star Donald Williams, who was named the most valuable player during UNC's run to the 1993 national championship, and Hal Stewart, who coached the Trojans to the 1987 state football title.
"It's incredible," Scotty said. "Those guys are legends, so it's cool to be up there with them."
Garner High's athletics booster club decided to put the mural on a billboard that formerly advertised local businesses. The town has a rich sports tradition, said Bret Kieft, a 1988 graduate and vice president of the Trojan Club.
Kieft said there was no doubt Scotty would be on the mural.
The 18-year-old often talked about the school's student boosters, the "Blue Crew," and about his second love - baseball - during his time on "Idol."
He even sang the national anthem to kick off the baseball World Series last month.
"He's an international icon now," Kieft said.
"We gotta represent him. And he's an athlete."
A local honor
Vincent Wood, a 1991 Garner High graduate and an artist who has painted murals across the nation, said he spent 80 hours on the piece.
He couldn't find a picture of Scotty in the correct angle, so Wood said he drew the country-music star freehand.
Growing up in Garner, Wood played baseball and basketball with some of the athletes who went on to fame, including Williams.
The mural includes the school's five state-championship banners - one each in football, baseball and women's basketball and two in cheerleading.
Jerseys of former standout athletes also are featured.
"People will never understand how much meaning this has for me," Wood said of painting the mural.
Williams, who moved back to Garner two years ago, attended Friday's event. Even though he went on to play in college and overseas, Williams said his high school always meant a lot to him.
"Everywhere I played, I always tried to represent Garner," Williams said.
And now, thanks to Scotty, Wood said people everywhere know about their hometown.
For Scotty, it's yet another tribute. Signs at the town's entrances already honor the singing star.