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Tracy Abrams, Mount Carmel, Senior, Guard
A two-time all-area selection, Abrams is one of the top point guards in the nation. He averaged 17.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.7 steals for the Caravan. He’s ranked No. 87 overall in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He’s headed to Illinois and is expected to the Illini’s point guard of the future.
“He’s an outstanding leader, responsible for 89 varsity victories over his four years on the team,” Mount Carmel coach Mike Flaherty said. “He made this year's team success possible by sacrificing individual statistics for the benefit of the team. He will be a great college player due to his work ethic and desire to win.”
Aaron Armstead, Hales Franciscan, Senior, Guard
Armstead was the senior leader for the Spartans and helped them to a Class 2A state championship. He also averaged a team-leading 17 points and four assists. He led the Spartans in scoring in 13 of their 29 wins, including a game-high 19 points in the Spartans’ state semifinal win. He’s signed with Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“He really came in the beginning of the year focused on having the opportunity to get back downstate,” Hales Franciscan coach Gary London said. “That was one of his major goals this year. He really had a determination about him this whole year. The one thing about him is he’s always been a good decision-maker on the floor. He was the leader on the team.”
Wayne Blackshear, Morgan Park, Senior, Guard
A two-time all-area selection, Blackshear was in the running for ESPNChicago.com’s Player of the Year award. He was again among the nation’s best shooting guards this past season. He averaged 32 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five blocks. He is ranked No. 17 overall in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He was selected as a McDonald’s All-American and will play at Louisville next season.
“Wayne is the best player in the state of Illinois regardless of class,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “He’s a leader. He gets his team involved. It’s not about Wayne getting 40 points. It’s not about Wayne getting 20 rebounds. He’s about winning.”
Julius Brown, Hillcrest, Senior, Guard
Brown did as much for Hillcrest as anyone did for their team this season. He averaged 20 points, three rebounds, five assists and four steals while putting Hillcrest among the top teams in the state. He was the South Suburban Blue Conference Player of the year. He’ll play at Toledo next season.
“Julius was a great high school basketball player because he was very coachable and he always worked on getting better,” Hillcrest coach Don Houston said. “He was also a tough player who was very poised under pressure situations.”
Ryan Boatright, East Aurora, Senior, Guard
A two-time all-area selection, Boatright is the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year. No one in the state was as consistently dominant against top talent and more entertaining than Boatright was this season. He scored 63 points against Proviso West. He had 55 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals in a win over St. Charles North. He helped the Tomcats defeat top-ranked Benet in the playoffs. He averaged 32 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. He’ll play next season at Connecticut.
“Boatright is an incredible player,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “My hat’s off to him. He’s a phenomenal player. He’s going to have a great career at UConn. No doubt about that.”
Quinton Chievous, Notre Dame, Senior, Forward
Chievous solidified himself as one of the top players in the area this past season. His game continued to grow while he averaged 20 points and nine rebounds and shot 53 percent from the field. He’s being recruited by Detroit, NC State, Nebraska, Penn State, Southern Illinois, Virginia Tech and others.
“Quinton was our best player last year,” Notre Dame coach Tom Les said. “We knew his improvement from his sophomore year to his junior year was huge. I felt if we could get maybe 1/3 of that same improvement from his junior year to senior year, he was going to have an impact year.”
|Jamee Crockett is bound for DePaul next season.|
Crockett was one of the season’s biggest surprises. He had always been a talented player, but he took his game to a whole different level this season. He averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 steals for the highly-ranked Warriors. He also shot 47 percent from the field. He’ll play at DePaul next season.
“Jamee has been tremendous all season,” Crete-Monee coach Matt Ryndak said. “His development has gone hand in hand with the success we have. His perimeter skills are much improved, and he has been the main ingredient in why we have such strong team chemistry. Jamee has proven himself to be one of the true elite players in our state.”
Anthony Davis, Perspectives, Senior, Forward
On a better team, Davis would have swept everyone’s player of the year awards this season. Although his team struggled, Davis averaged 32 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks. He had one game of 30 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks. He’s ranked the No.2 overall player in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He was selected as a McDonald’s All-American and will play at Kentucky next season.
“Davis came on the scene last spring and has never looked back,” ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin said. “From an unknown to being considered for the top spot in the class and signing with Kentucky, Davis has off-the-charts’ upside and is the toughest match up in high school basketball because of his size, length and guard skills.”
Deshawn Delaney, Carter, Senior, Forward
Delaney was nearly unstoppable inside on both ends of the court. He averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for the Challengers. In a win over Morgan Park, he had 22 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocks. He’s uncommitted.
“He’s just a high-motor kid, who’s all about production,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He’s labeled a tweener, but he always finds a way to get things done. He’s really evolved as a player over the course of his career.”
Nnanna Egwu, St. Ignatius, Senior, Center
Egwu dominated the interior like few big men did this season. He not only blocked shots and grabbed rebounds as he has done in the past, Egwu was also a scoring force this season. He averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. He is ranked No. 84 in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He’ll play at Illinois next season.
“I was just impressed to see his play from January to the end of the season,” St. Ignatius coach Rich Kehoe said. “He averaged 23 points a game for the last 10 games. He just got better all the time.”
Mycheal Henry, Orr, Senior, Forward
A two-time all-area selection, Henry was one of the area’s best shooters this season. With his smooth jumper, he averaged 25 points a game. He also went for 11 rebounds. He had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in a win over Marshall for a regional title. He is ranked No. 77 in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He will play at Illinois next season.
“He’s going to be one of the Illinois’ best offensive players next year,” Orr coach Lou Adams said. “He shoots the ball extremely well. He’s going to a great player at Illinois.”
Johnny Hill, Glenbard East, Senior, Guard
A two-time all-area selection, Hill followed a strong junior year with an even bigger senior one. He averaged 20.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists while helping the Rams downstate for the first time since 1964. He’ll play at Illinois State next season.
“I think he’s been one of most unsung players in his class,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He’s highly overlooked and not talked about enough. The kid is an absolute basketball player who does so many things on both ends of the court. He’s unselfish and finds ways to make big plays in big moments.”
|Frank Kaminsky and Benet were in the top 10 in the national rankings at times during the season.|
Kaminsky was one of the best big men in the state this season. He’s as versatile as they come at his 6-foot-11 size. He averaged 15 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 4.2 blocks while helping the Redwings to a national ranking. He’s headed to play at Wisconsin next season.
“Frank was a major factor on both ends of the floor for us,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “He was able to score and set up teammates out of the post offensively, and block and alter shots defensively. His rebounding was crucial to our success.”
Julian Lewis, Homewood-Flossmoor, Senior, Guard
Lewis was the leader and best player on one of the best teams in the state. He averaged 16 points and six rebounds for the Vikings this season. He was an all-tournament selection at the Proviso West holiday tournament. He had 28 points on 9 of 11 shooting against Proviso East in the tournament’s semifinals.
“He’s another versatile kid who brings at the high school level both his strength and his ability to defend multiple positions,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He’s a player. He doesn’t put up huge numbers, but he’s a stat stuff. He was the leader of a very good H-F team.”
Abdel Nader, Niles North, Senior, Forward
Nader was one of the area’s biggest scoring machines this season. He went over 30 points a number of times and averaged 23 points for the year. He also added 8.2 rebounds a game. He led the Vikings to a sectional championship. He was committed to New Mexico, but has since reopened his recruitment.
“He’s had all the skills offensively, and he continues to develop more,” Niles North coach Glenn Olson said. “This year he’s become a great all-around player. He’s improved in every facet of the game.”
Jabari Parker, Simeon, Sophomore, Forward
Parker was in the running for ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year. Despite only being a sophomore, Parker was the best player on one of the best teams in the state. He averaged 15.3 points, six rebounds and 2.1 assists. He’s ranked the No. 2 sophomore in the country by ESPN Recruiting and is being recruited by nearly everyone.
“When all is said and done, he could be a dominant player like LeBron or Amare Stoudemire,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “He has the potential to be one of those dominant individual players.”
Darius Paul, Warren, Junior, Forward
Paul moved out of his older brother and Illinois sophomore guard Brandon’s shadows this season. Paul helped the Blue Devils downstate by averaging team-bests of 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. He had 17 points and 17 rebounds in Warren’s sectional championship win. He’s being recruited by a number of schools.
“Darius is an extremely versatile and athletic kid who is our leading scorer, leading rebounder and second in assists,” Warren coach Chuck Ramsey said. “He’s really improved a lot as the season has progressed.”
|Mike Powell stepped up for Brooks when star guard George Marshall was sidelined.|
Powell Jr. stepped into the spotlight this season. He kept Brooks afloat when Wisconsin recruit George Marshall was injured and was key to the Eagles winning the Public League championship and advancing downstate. He averaged 20 points, seven assists and three steals. He’s being recruiting by a number of Division I programs.
“Mike Powell Jr. is a true floor general,” Brooks coach Bobby Locke said. “A throwback point guard. He not only makes plays for himself, but is equally as unselfish deferring to others for the sake of team success. His true strength is his physical and mental toughness defensively. Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”
Mike Shaw, De La Salle, Senior, Forward
A two-time all-area selection, Shaw was once again the Meteors’ leader. He averaged 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while helping De La Salle to a Catholic League championship. He is ranked No. 79 in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He’ll play at Illinois next season.
“I think he was the glue to our team,” De La Salle coach Tom White said. “Whatever the team needed, he was able to do that. I don’t think everyone can do that.”
Aaron Simpson, North Chicago, Junior, Guard
Simpson put up big numbers for a big numbers’ team. The Warhawks averaged nearly 70 points a game, and Simpson was good for 22.5 points a night. He also averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 assists while helping North Chicago downstate. He’s considered one of the top juniors in the state.
“On a given night, he’s a streaky scorer, but he’s an explosive scorer,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He can beat you with his jump shot as well as getting to the rim. He’s a tough matchup at the high school level.”
David Sobolewski, Benet, Senior, Guard
A two-time all-area selection, Sobolewski was in the running for ESPNChicago.com’s Player of the Year award. He was as dominant as any guard in the state this season. He averaged 15.2 points, 6.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals while leading Benet to 29 consecutive wins and a national ranking. He’s a Northwestern recruit and could be Michael Thompson’s successor.
“Dave was outstanding at handling pressure, scoring, and creating shots for his teammates,” Benet coach Gene Heidkamp said. “He consistently made others better. His leadership and decision making were important factors in our success.”
Keifer Sykes, Marshall, Senior, Guard
Sykes was one of the Public League’s top players this season. He averaged 18 points, five assists and three steals for the Commandos. He also shot 50 percent from 3-point range. He’s play next season at Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“He’s just an absolute winner,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “When Keifer’s got the ball in his hands, you know positive things are going to happen. He can both create for himself and his teammate. I think he’s a warrior.”
Sam Thompson, Whitney Young, Senior, Guard
Thompson was one of the state’s most versatile players again this season. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 4.1 blocks for the Dolphins. He is ranked No. 45 overall in the Class of 2011 by ESPN Recruiting. He will play next season at Ohio State.
“Sam had a great season this year and was a vital asset to our program,” Whitney Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “He did whatever was needed of him from game to game. If we needed him to put points on the board, he scored like no other. If we needed him to play lockdown defense and to be a shot blocking presence, he did just that. What makes Sam special is not the fact that he is a marvelous all-around, athletic ballplayer who throws down stunning dunks on a game to game basis, but the fact that he is a great leader with a heart of gold.”
Demetrius Tolliver, Farragut, Senior, Guard
Tolliver was one of the bigger surprises in the Pubic League this season. Behind his versatile play, the Admirals were one of the best teams in the city and state. He led Farragut to a sectional title. He averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals.
“He is another unsung player,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He’s probably one of the biggest stock raisers in the senior class. He’s a kid who does anything to help his team win. He’s one of the top defensive players in the city and one of the absolute toughest kids.”
|Lyons' Nick Zeisloft will play his college ball at Illinois State.|
Zeisloft was again one of the top shooters and scorers in the area. He averaged 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals while helping Lyons to another winning season. He shot 53 percent from the field and 40 percent form 3-point range. He’ll play at Illinois State next season.
“He’s one of the top five shooters in the state,” City/Suburban Hoops Report recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen said. “He’s become more than just a shooter. He’s evolved into an all-around scorer. He was the go-to guy for a really good team.”