High-SchoolIllinois: Five Days of List-Mas

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Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The best mascots in Illinois high school sports.

Any school can be a mascot like the Hawks or the Bulldogs. It takes a creative school to come up with something that is a little more exciting. And some of the Illinois schools have some awfully creative mascots. But which schools made our top five? Read below, and let us know if you think your school should have made the cut.

5. Wethersfield Flying Geese

4. Lincoln Railsplitters

3. Dunbar Mightymen

2. Hoopeston Cornjerkers

1. Freeport Pretzels

Honorable mention: Abingdon Commandos, Arcola Purple Riders, Effingham Flaming Hearts, Elk Grove Grenadiers, Fisher Bunnies, Monticello Sages, Nazareth Academy Roadrunners, Rock Island Rocks, Southwestern Piasa Birds

Think your school belongs on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know about it!

And from all of us here at ESPNHS, Merry List-Mas!
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Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Illinois.

Jabari Parker, Billy Garrett and Thomas Hamilton are all standout basketball recruits who are likely headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Illinois has sent its share of school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from Illinois to play in the NBA.

5. Derrick Rose
Rose won a state title at Simeon, then led Memphis to the NCAA title game as a freshman in 2007-08. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Rose has quickly distinguished himself as a superstar, earning MVP honors last season after averaging 25.0 points and 7.7 assists per game.
4. Isiah Thomas*
A true Chicago kid, Thomas graduated from St. Joseph and played two seasons at Indiana, winning a national title in 1980-81 before declaring for the NBA draft. The Pistons made him the No. 2 pick, and Thomas spent his entire 13-year career with Detroit. The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 19.2 points and 9.3 assists for his career, made 12 All-Star teams, won two NBA championships and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
* Let's all agree not to talk about his post-playing career as a front office executive. [Shudder]

3. Kevin Garnett
Garnett would have been No. 1 on this list, but he's not a true Illinois native. Born in South Carolina, he only spent his senior year of high school in the state, playing at Farragut. It was a productive season, as he posted 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks and earning McDonald's All-American status before deciding to skip college. Garnett declared for the 1995 NBA draft and went fifth overall to Minnesota. A surefire lock for the Hall of Fame, Garnett has made 14 All-Star teams, won MVP honors in 2003-04 and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2007-08. Also in 2007-08, he led the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship.

2. George Mikan
A true legend of the game, Mikan was born in Joliet and graduated from Archbishop Quigley. After a great college career at DePaul, Mikan played just seven NBA seasons — but he made an historic impact. The first true "center," the 6-foot-10 Mikan was unstoppable in the post, averaging 28.3 points as a rookie in 1948-49. He went on to average 23.1 points per game for his pro career. Mikan won five NBA championships, was inducted into the Hall of Fame and was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players. And perhaps even more impressive, the league had to alter some of its core rules in order to prevent Mikan from dominating the game too thoroughly. The NBA widened the lane from six to 12 feet in an attempt to keep the first true "big man" away from the basket.

1. Dwyane Wade
Wade may be a villain right now, but let's not lose sight of the fact that he's also one of the best players in NBA history. A Richards grad, Wade went on to star at Marquette before being taken fifth overall by Miami in the 2003 NBA draft. He's now working on a streak of seven consecutive seasons of at least 24 points per game, including a league-best 30.2 in 2008-09. In 2005-06, Wade led the Heat to the NBA championship, averaging 34.7 points per game in the last round to win Finals MVP honors. Now that he's teamed up with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, there's a good chance Wade could add more championship hardware before his career is over.

Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.
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Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Simeon still reigns at No. 1 in our first regular season POWERADE state rankings. The Wolverines have looked impressive so far, including a 50-43 win over Farragut.

No. 2 Whitney Young hasn't seen much action yet, but the Dolphins' schedule picks up soon, with games against Crane and Orr this week.

The biggest drop from the preseason rankings is Warren, with fell from No. 2 to No. 10 after losing to Stevenson.

POWERADE state basketball rankings

After games ending 12/13
  1. Simeon (3-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Whitney Young (1-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Proviso East (6-0) — Last week: No. 4
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.
5
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The top underclassmen in high school football.

The state championships are over and the Class of 2012 had a great run, but it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Illinois next season? We give you the early rundown of who to watch for.

5. LaQuon Treadwell (JR), Crete-Monee, WR
Credentials: Big, physical playmaker caught 75 passes for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns this year

4. Ethan Pocic (JR), Lemont, OL
Credentials: At 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, Pocic is dominant in the running game and pass protection

3. Matt Alviti (JR), Maine South, QB
Credentials: Passed for 2,210 yards and 29 touchdowns and also ran for 12 scores

2. Aaron Bailey (JR), Bolingbrook, QB
Credentials: Led Bolingbrook to a state championship, running for

1. Ty Isaac (JR), Joliet Catholic, RB
Credentials: Ran for 2,629 yards and 48 touchdowns on the year, including a title game-record 515 yards in the Class 5A championship contest

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The POWERADE Illinois Weekly Basketball Rankings.

Did I miss someone who should be on the list? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let me know about it.

Five Days of List-Mas: IL's A-List

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
12:25
PM ET
5

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you're putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you're making that special list for Santa, there's nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we're bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: Illinois A-List

What is an A-Lister? In Hollywood, it's the George Clooney and Julia Roberts crowd. In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The A-List is the best of the best. So which athletes can be considered A-Listers in Illinois this year? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state.

Aaron Bailey, Junior
Bolingbrook, Football
Credentials: Quarterbacked Bolingbrook to state championship; ran for 1,983 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Ty Isaac, Junior
Joliet Catholic, Football
Credentials: Ran for 2,629 yards and scored 49 touchdowns; led Joliet Catholic to state title game.

Ryan Koziol, Senior
Providence, Baseball
Credentials: The most controversial selection to this list, Koziol may not play a single inning this year after being ruled ineligible following his transfer from Brother Rice to Providence. He has committed to Arizona.

Jabari Parker, Junior
Simeon, Basketball
Credentials: No. 1 in the ESPNU 60; leads the No. 1 team in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Jordan Westerkamp, Senior
Montini, Football
Credentials: State's all-time leader in receptions (269), receiving yards (4,355) and touchdowns (66).

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The top underclassman football players from Illinois.

Think I missed someone who should be on the A-List? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and make your case.

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