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  • Writer's pictureBig Tim

Big Tim's Top 10 players in Illinois Basketball History!!!!!

My list comes with a caveat: it goes from 1995 to present as that was the year I came to the Chicago Area. It's a who's who of top players and big time accomplishments on the high school level only. It does not count college or pro career. I will though post what they did post high school.

1) Jabari Parker, Simeon(6'8"wing))(Class of 2013)- Four for four!!!!!!!!!! That means four years in high school, four State Titles. One of only two players in State History to win Illinois Mr Basketball twice(EJ Liddell). He was a huge contributor to all 4 title teams. Won Chicago Public League title in 2012. He could score from all three areas on the court. Good defender of the three frontcourt positions. Morgan Wooten National High School Player Of The Year. Gatorade National Player Of The Year. Max Preps National Player Of The Year. Chicago Sun Times All-Area Player of the Year for 2012-2013 season. McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand All-American 2013. Nike Hoop Summit 2013. Won Gold Medal at FIBA Americas 2012. Three time All-Stater. Played college basketball at Duke. Plays in NBA for Sacramento Kings.

2) Sergio McClain, Manual(Peoria)(6'4" forward)(Class of 1997)- Another player that went Four for Four!!!! Four years, four State Titles. Illinois Mr Basketball 1997. Starter on four title teams. 2007 team ranked #1 in America by USA Today. Ultimate glue guy could score, rebound, assist and had a toughness about him. He could defend the other teams best player. He wasn't a big time scorer but was a threat from 15 feet and in. All- State 1997. Played college basketball at University of Illinois(Champaign).

3) Jon Scheyer, Glenbrook North(Northbrook)(6'5" guard)(Class of 2006)- All time leading scorer at his school with 3,034 points. He was an excellent shooter from three point range and the free throw line. He was a good defender who guarded the other teams best player. Won State Title in 2005. Made three trips to State Finals in 4 years finishing 3rd his freshman year. Scored 21 points in 75 seconds at prestigious Proviso West Holiday tournament: Had 49 points in Supersectional his junior year vs Waukegan. Illinois Mr Basketball 2006. McDonald's All-American 2006. Chicago Sun Times Player Of The Year 2006. Two time Gatorade State Player Of The Year. Three time All-Stater. Played college basketball at Duke. Won a National Title in 2010.

4) Derrick Rose, Simeon(Chicago)(6'3" point guard)(Class of 2007)- Won back to back State Titles in 2006, and 2007. Hit the game winning shot in overtime of State Title Game 2006: Dominated the 2007 title game without scoring a basket from the field. Won two Chicago Public League Titles in 2006 and 2007. Athletic scorer who would dunk on you, he had tremendous speed up the court, blow by ability to score at the basket in a variety of ways. Serviceable three point shot. Illinois Mr Basketball 2007. McDonald's and Jordan Brand All-American 2007. Played in Nike Hoop Summit 2007. Chicago Sun Times Player Of The Year 2007. If Bob Hambric would have lifted his restriction for freshman on the varsity, he could have won a third title in 2004. Played college basketball at Memphis. National runner-up in 2008. Currently in the NBA playing for New York Knicks.

5) Marcus Griffin, Manual(Peoria)(6'9"center)(Class of 1997)- He's another one who's four for four. Four years, four State titles. He was a major contributor to the last three title teams. Rules the paint area. Excellent scorer with back to basket, big time rebounder and shot blocker. Ultimate rim protector in the high school ranks. The glue to those great Manual teams. McDonald's All-American 1997. All-State 1997. Played college basketball at University of Illinois(Champaign).

6) EJ Liddell, West(Belleville)(6'7"forward)(Class of 2019)- Two time Illinois Mr Basketball 2018, 2019. One of only two players in State History to win the award twice(Jabari Parker). He won back to back State Titles 2018, 2019. He could score from all three levels of the court. Big time rebounder, big time shot blocker. One of the best rim protectors in state history. Averaged close to a double/double(points, rebounds) the last two years of his high school career. He scored with his back to the basket, and could step out and hit threes. Two time St Louis Dispatch Player Of The Year. Currently plays college basketball at Ohio State.

7) Jereme Richmond, North Shore Country Day(Winnetka), Waukegan(6'8" wing) (Class of 2010)- Played his freshman year at North Shore, was Class A honorable mention All-State. Transferred to Waukegan his sophomore year. Led Bulldogs to two consecutive appearances in State Finals 2009 2010, finishing second his junior year, third his senior year. Hit a half court shot in Waukegan Sectional Final vs Warren(Gurnee) to advance to Supersectional: One of the most famous shots in State History. Two time Chicago Sun Times Player of the Year 2009, 2010 one of only two to accomplish this feat(Quinn Buckner). Illinois Mr Basketball 2010. He averaged a double/double his senior year. Versatile performer who could run point guard when needed. Great rebounder, and rim protector. Nice turnaround shot from the mid range 15 to 18 feet. Played college basketball at University of Illinois(Champaign).

8) Quentin Richardson, Brother Rice(Chicago), Whitney Young(Chicago)(6'5" forward)(Class of 1998)- Dominant his last two seasons at Whitney Young led them to State Finals in 1997 losing in Elite Eight to Champion Peoria Manual. Won State Title in 1998 without losing a game in Illinois. They lost to Catholic(Lexington,Ky in overtime) at the Hoops in the Loop at DePaul University. He was quoted in the next day's paper saying "We will not lose another game this season". Guess what? They did not lose another game. He was a post up scoring monster with his back to the basket. He could also step out and hit the three point shot. Monster rebounder on the glass. Two time Chicago Public League Champ. Chicago Sun Times Player Of The Year 1998. McDonald's All-American 1998.

9) Frank Williams, Manual(Peoria)(6'4" point guard)(Class of 1998)- Won three State Titles 1995, 1996, 1997. He was a smooth point guard, so smooth he could play in a tuxedo. He was the floor leader for Manual's championship teams. When Sergio McClain and Marcus Griffin graduated, he took over scoring and assist duties. He could score from all thee levels and was a smooth finisher at the rim. He led Manual to the Supersectional his senior year in 1998, but could not get them back to the State Finals for fourth straight year. McDonald's All-American 1998. Illinois Mr Basketball 1998. Played college basketball at University of Illinois(Champaign).

10) Jalen Brunson, Stevenson(Lincolnshire)(6'2" point guard)- Had a magnificent high school career leading Stevenson to three straight State Finals appearances 2013, 2014, 2015. Won State Title in 2015. Lost State Title game sophomore year to Simeon. Scored record 56 points in State Semifinal loss to Whitney Young(Chicago). Finished the job his senior year. Big time three point shooter, scored on mid range floaters, and finished strong at the basket. Good passer and opened up shots for teammates. McDonald's All-American 2015. Illinois Mr Basketball 2015. Chicago Sun Times Player Of The Year 2015. Won Gold Medal at FIBA Americas 2014. Played college basketball at Villanova. Won two National Titles. Plays in the NBA for Dallas Mavericks.

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