Big Tim's Elite 25 Players In Chicago Area Fourth Edition!!!!
Before I start this write-up, my all area team this year will be in tribute to Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr of Prairie Central (Fairbury) who passed away in a sledding accident at a Colorado resort. No they are not Chicago Area kids, but they are a part of the Illinois High School basketball family. They will be on this All-Area team. Condolences to the families and the town. Here we go:
DYLAN BAZZELL, Prairie Central (Fairbury), 6'4" senior wing: Three sport star. All stater in two sports (basketball, track). First team All-State in Class 2A for basketball. Averaged 14.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.1 steals a game. Fills stat sheet playing all over the court. Led team to Class 2A Regional Championship, first since 2005. Team finished with a 31-3 record and Illini Prairie Conference Champion. All state in Class 2A for track and field. Finished second in high jump, and eighth in 110 meter hurdles as a junior. Played football for a 11-1 team that made the Class 3A Quarterfinals of state playoffs. He was the kicker, wide receiver, and defensive back.
DREW FEHR, Prairie Central (Fairbury), 6'2" senior forward: Three sport star. All State in track and field. Averaged 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals a game. Was a glue guy for the football and basketball teams. Led team to a Class 2A Regional Championship, first since 2005. Team finished with a 31-3 record and Illini Prairie Conference Champion. Placed third in the pole vault in Class 2A track and field at state. He was the team captain, leading rusher, scorer, and tackler in football. Earned All-State Honorable Mention. Rushed for 1,421 yards and 21 touchdowns for 11-1 team that made the Class 3A Quarterfinals of state playoffs.
The rest of the team:
JEREMY FEARS JR, West (Joliet), 6'2" senior point guard: Player of the Year. Michigan State commit. Class 4A First Team All-State. Here's his article for that achievement: https://www.bigtimshsbballrevue.com/post/big-tim-s-chicago-area-player-of-the-year-is-jeremy-fears-jr-of-joliet-west.
NIKO ABUSARA, Benet Academy (Lisle), 6'5" senior wing: Dartmouth commit. Led the Redwings to a 35-2 record and state runners-up. Explosive wing that can jump out of the gym, as referenced by his dunk jumping over West (Joliet) defender at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament: Averaged 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks a game. Shot 50% from the field with his slashing game. Won East Suburban Catholic going undefeated. All Tournament at Pontiac. Second Team Class 4A All-State.
DARRIN AMES, Kenwood Academy (Chicago), 6'2" senior point guard: Kansas State commit. Repeat selection. Red South/Central Champion a first in school history. Led team to a second consecutive Sectional Title, only two in school history. Averaged 21.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals a game. Broke single game record with 65 points at Proviso West (Hillside) Holiday Tournament. Scored over 1,500 points for his career. Class 4A First Team All-State. First team All-City.
DARRION BAKER, Hillcrest (Country Club Hills), 6'8" senior wing: Akron commit. Overcame a bunch of leg injuries to become a star in his last two years of high school. Led Hillcrest to South Suburban Blue title with a 28-3 record. Averaged 14.7 points, and 6.7 rebounds a game. Versatility is his calling card as he can play all over the court. He can bring the ball up court and set up the offense. Good rim protector. Led team to Sectional Title in Class 3A. Honorable mention Class 3A All-State.
JURRELL BALDWIN, Hyde Park Academy (Chicago), 6'6" junior wing: Transferred in from Homewood Flossmoor, and had an immediate impact in Chicago Public League Red South/Central. Team finished third in the division. Double/double machine. Averaged 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks a game. Honorable mention Class 3A All-State.
RICHARD BARRON III, St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago), 6'5"senior wing: George Mason commit. Is a knockdown wing shooter, who has worked to be able to now put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. He has a strong body to finish through contact at the rim, and has a nice two dribble pull-up jumper. Led team to second straight Class 3A State Semifinal finishing fourth. First Team Class 3A All-State. All Tournament at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.
CAMERON CHRISTIE, Rolling Meadows, 6'6" senior point guard: Minnesota commit. Repeat selection. Led the Mustangs to consecutive Mid Suburban East titles. Averaged 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists a game. Made school record 101 three pointers and 88% from the free throw line. Smooth shooter from three and a nasty two dribble pull-up jumper from mid range. Second leading scorer in school history behind his brother Max. Most Valuable Player at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament. Won Class 4A Regional Title. First Team Class 4A All-State.
MEKHI COOPER, Bolingbrook: 6'1" senior point guard: Miami, Ohio commit. Has worked from being just a knockdown wing shooter, to a leader at the point guard position. Sacrifices his offense to get other teammates involved. Defends his position at a high level with quick hands. Averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 3.1 steals a game. Undefeated in Southwest Suburban Blue. Won Class 4A Regional Title. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State. All Tournament at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.
DEANDRE CRAIG, Mount Carmel (Chicago): 6'1" senior point guard: Denver commit. Repeat selection. Quick off the dribble, can get to the basket and finish with a variety of moves, improving jump shot, and fast hands that get steals and layups. He has taken this program to the next level. Averaged 18 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals playing in tough Chicago Catholic League Blue. First Team Class 3A All-State. First team All-City. All Tournament at Pekin Holiday Tournament.
DAVID DOUGLAS JR, Christian (Yorkville): 6'5" senior point guard: Uncommited player had to play out of position this season. He had to be a scorer along with his playmaking ability. Led the state in scoring. Class 1A All-State. Averaged 33.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2 steals, 1.3 blocks a game. Made 114 three pointers, 339 made free throws (state record), and a 88% free throw percentage. Multiple division one offers.
BRAYDEN FAGBEMI, Benet Academy (Lisle): 6'0" senior point guard: Johns Hopkins commit. Consummate floor general. One of the most underrated guards in the state. Led the Redwings to East Suburban Catholic Title going undefeated, Class 4A State Runners-Up and a 35-2 record. Hit game winning basket in Sectional Final against Geneva. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.
JAKE FIEGEN, New Trier (Winnetka): 6'4" senior combo guard: Cornell commit. Had a reputation as the best shooter in the state this season. Developed a off the dribble game getting to the basket and finishing. Also good at posting up off the post and hitting turnaround jumpers. Won Central Suburban South title and finished fourth in Class 4A. Averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists. Shot 68% on two pointers and 40% on three point shots. Scored over 1,000 points this season. All tournament at Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Three time All-Conference in Central Suburban South. Second Team Class 4A All-State.
JALEN GRIFFITH, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago): 5'10" senior point guard: Jacksonville commit. Four year varsity performer. Most cerebral point guard in the state. He can control games with his pace of play, knows when to speed up and when to slow down. Has a nasty mid range pull-up jumper to go with this three point shooting. Makes passes from seemingly impossible angles. Won Chicago Public League Championship and Class 3A State Runners-Up. AC Williamson Award Winner at Pontiac Holiday Tournament. First Team Class 3A All-State. Broke Class 3A single game record for assists with 12 in semifinal win over St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago).
AHMAD HENDERSON II, Brother Rice (Chicago): 5'10" senior point guard: Niagara commit. Repeat selection. Another cerebral floor general who can control a game with his scoring, passing, and penetration. Had 28 second half points in Sectional Semifinal against St Rita (Chicago). Averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Class 4A Regional Champ. Second Team Class 4A All-State.
DANIEL JOHNSON, Whitney Young (Chicago): 6'7" senior wing: Uncommitted. Stepped his game up by hitting the glass hard for a height challenged Dolphins team. Had more than a few double/doubles. Most Valuable Player at Proviso West (Hillside) Holiday Tournament as Dolphins won title. Averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists a game. Class 4A runners-up last season. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.
MOREZ JOHNSON, JR, St Rita (Chicago): 6'9" junior forward: Illinois commit is a double/double machine. Plays hard on both ends of the court, changes ends at a fast pace. Big time rim protector. Has added a three point shot to his arsenal. Averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game. Won Catholic League Blue Championship. First Team Class 4A All-State.
MEKHI LOWERY, East (Oswego): 6'7" wing: Towson commit. Had a bunch of double/double's this season. Averaged 12.7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block a game. Filled the stat sheet playing all over the court. Undefeated in Southwest Suburban Prairie. Won first Class 4A Sectional Title in school history. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.
CONNOR MAY, Palatine: 6'7" junior: Big time inside/outside force for his team. Won Mid Suburban League Championship with win at Rolling Meadows. Averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 blocks a game. Filled the stat sheet playing all positions on the court. Exploded for multiple 30 point games this year. All Tournament at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.
BEN OOSTERBAAN, Hinsdale Central: 6'6" senior guard: Committed to Michigan for baseball. Talented scorer from all three levels of the court and could create his own shot off the dribble. Most Valuable Player of Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament which the hosts won. Averaged 20.3 points, 6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 steals a game. Won West Suburban Silver Championship. Broke Brian Wardle's single season school scoring record. Had over 650 points. Second Team Class 4A All-State.
MILES RUBIN, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago): 6'10" senior center: Loyola Chicago commit. The best rim protector in the last couple of years in the state. He just shuts down the paint with not just shot blocking but altered shots. Lefty has a soft touch out to three, and a nice jump hook in the paint. Led team to Chicago Public League Title and runners-up in Class 3A. Broke Class 3A Single game record for blocks with 8 in semifinal win over St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago).
DREW SCHARNOWKSI, Burlington Central (Hampshire): 6'9" senior wing: Belmont commit. Versatility is his calling card as he can bring the ball up the court, set up in the post and score, then step out to hit threes. Averaged 23.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 blocks a game. Won Fox Valley Conference title. Won Class 3A Regional Title. Second Team Class 3A All-State.
JACK STANTON, North (Downers Grove): 6'2"junior guard: Led his team to first berth in State Finals. Finished fourth in Class 4A. He can break open a game with his three point shooting, whether off the catch, or off the bounce. Has a nice two dribble pull-up jumper to accentuate his three point game. Can also run an offense as the point guard. His versatility from the guard position allowed the other players to play their roles. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.
ASA THOMAS, Lake Forest: 6'7" senior wing: Clemson commit. Repeat selection. Hits threes, moves well off the ball, moves the ball with efficiency. Hits the glass on the defensive end of the court. Averaged 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1 steal a game. All conference selection. Won Class 3A Regional Title. Second Team Class 3A All-State. All Tournament at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.
MAURICE THOMAS, DePaul College Prep (Chicago): 6'2" senior guard: Held team together through injuries with his outstanding play. Leading scorer and three point shooter being aggressive looking for his offense. Blended in once the injured players came back into the lineup late in the season. Won Class 2A State Title. Had two big time scoring games in the semifinals and title game. The X factor for the Rams. Honorable mention Class 2A All-State.
LUKE WILLIAMS, North (Naperville): 6'1" junior guard: Big time football prospect as a wide receiver. He showed he could do it on the hardwood as well. Used his quickness to get into passing lanes for steals. DuPage Valley Conference Player Of The Year. All Tournament at Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament. Averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.1 steals. Shot 50% from the floor. Honorable mention Class 4A All-State.