Whitaker, who is 6-3 and 195 pounds, chose the Flames over UC-Davis and Boston. He sat out his junior high school season due to an ACL injury and returned to play with the Illinois Wolves on the club circuit this summer.
“I’m just excited to be a part of that program,” said Whitaker, who averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds for Bartlett as sophomore. “Their coaching staff has really made me feel like they’re going to win. They have a strong plan and something I believe in.”
Illinois Wolves coach Mike Mullins thinks Whitaker will provide not only a versatile and defensive-minded guard to UIC, but also a leader. Whitaker was the team captain for the Wolves’ 17-and-under team.
“He makes a difference when he’s out on the floor,” Mullins said. “Obviously, he’s versatile, and he’s the best defender in the program since my son Bryan, who was on the all-defensive team in the Missouri Valley. He can guard 1-4, unselfish, ability to make winnings plays, make big passes, big shots, get loose balls. He can take a season from being good to it being great.”
Whitaker is UIC’s second Class of 2013 commitment. He joins Elkhart Memorial (Ind.) senior shooting guard Markese McGuire.