Friday, November 9, 2018


“Some un-heralded players we are anticipating having a break-out season. We identified 10 of them with brief comments.”

There’s been enormous amount of conversation of late regarding this group. Who are the top guys, whom must we see/view out the gate-opening the season. We here, will stay on the positive/optimistic side in an effort to identify our elite prospects. Several notable defections have hampered the depth of this once touted cast.

D.J. Stewart 6-3 WG HM 1 Whitney Young

Adam Miller 6-3 WG HM 2 Morgan Park

Martice Mitchell 6-10 F/C HM 3 Bloom

Keshawn Williams 6-2 PG MM+ 4 Bloom

Tyler Beard 6-3 WG MM+-MM 5 Whitney Young

Isiah Rivera 6-4 G MM+-MM 6 Geneseo

Will Wolf 6-6 WG MM+-MM 7 Aurora Christian

Marcus Watson 5-9 PG MM 8 Morgan Park

Romelle Howard 6-8 F/C MM 9 Lincoln Park

Demarius Splunge 6-4 WG MM 10 Chicago Orr

Destin Whitaker 6-6 WF MM 11 Romeoville

Dante Maddox 6-2 PG MM 12 Bloom

Davis Walker 6-3 PG MM 13 “Home School-Aurora Area”

Aquan Smart 6-3 PG MM 14 Niles North

Bryce Hall 6-3 G MM 15 Chicago Simeon

Antoine Bloxton 6-2 WG MM 16 Chicago Bogan

Jimarius Sneed 6-5 WF MM 17 Chicago Crane

Seryee Lewis 6-7 PF MM 18 Chicago Kenwood

Nate Shockey 6-0 PG MM 19 York

Ahron Ullis 6-2 PG MM 20 Marian Catholic

Kaleb Fenelus-Williams 6-5 WF MM 21 Plainfield North

Kenny Sallee 6-4 G MM 22 Chicago Crane

Tarone Kirkwood 5-10 PG MM 23 East Aurora

Beau Frericks 6-2 PG MM 24 Cary Grove

Kee Hargrow 6-7 G/F MM 25 Hyde Park Academy

“Has a new lease with an opportunity to prove to critics he’s a good kid, who just made poor decisions in his past. Challenges bring on growth. No question he has talent. The CPL will provide us with a clear tale of who he is as player.”

Micah Schnyder 6-4 PG MM 25 Lincoln-Way West

Connor Kochera 6-4 G MM 26 St. Viator

Paul Zillinskas 6-6 F MM 27 Richards

Jayson Kent 6-4 PG MM 28 Oak-Forest

Elijah Watson 6-6 WF MM 29 T.F. South

Colin O’Rourke 6-6 WF MM 30 Plainfield North

Isiah Burrell 6-4 WF MM 31 Morgan Park

Tremear Fraley 6-7 PF MM 32 Chicago Bogan

Frank Jakubicek 6-8 PF MM 33 Cary Grove

Ramean Hinton 6-3 G LM+ 34 Chicago Curie

Ricky Kirby 6-7 PF LM+ 35 North Chicago

Collin Wood 6-3 G LM+ 36 Hampshire
“Mostly plays in obscurity. Big year for this talented prospect.”

Johnny Close 6-4 WG LM+ 37 Rockford Boylan
“Consistent out-side shooter. History & tradition is on his side.”

Kendale Anderson 6-5 PF LM+ 38 Chicago Leo

Devon House 6-7 PF LM+LM 39 Sterling Newman Catholic

Nate Seputis 6-8 PF LM+LM 40 Lincoln-Way East
“This kid has tools to be a special player. He should have a break-through year. Plays for one of the area’s top coaches who has a history of developing his players.”

Josh Holmes 6-1 PG LM+-LM 41 DeLaSalle

“New scenery, time to shine.”

Donovan Newby 6-2 PG LM+-LM 42 Bloom

“Playing in shadows of others, this time around he will have a stage for him.”

Kyndall Davis 6-4 G LM+-LM 43 Chicago Bogan

“Change of scenery will help him expand his game. He has nice skill set.”

Grant Hall 6-4 G/F LM+-LM 44 Thornridge

“Un-known high-level athleticism.”

Semaj Williams 6-5 WF LM+-LM 45 Chicago Prosser

“Un-tapped talent. Handles himself well on the perimeter. Has good length. Plays for one of our area’s top young coaches.”

Atharva Atreya 6-2 PG LM 46 Carl Sandburg

“-A under-the-radar- exciting player who can’t wait to see perform at the Spot-liter MLK Classic in January.”

Jamari McClendon 6-1 G LM 47 Chicago Hope Academy
“Competitive thrives in clutch, one of my favorites.”

Robert Hobbs 6-4 F LM 48 Chicago Crane
“An under-sized stud, playing on a talented junior Laden squad. A sleeper dude.”

Levell McIntosh 6-3 WF LM 49 Kankakee
“A rising player, big-time athlete, this season he will have opportunity to express himself.”

P.J. Edwards 6-4 G/F LM 50 Springfield Lanphier
“Lost some steam within the last year. The swingman has an opportunity to redeem himself as well as game this season.”


“Vast majority of our players today has become so fixated on rankings & hype, instead of focusing on growth & improvement. The youngsters we will identify aren’t finished products but have a wealth of potential. At the Spot-Liter we will observe closely with a watchful lens on the development of many of our prized youngsters. We’ve noticed in recent years a growing trend in our area where players have become cool & nonchalant on the court, compared to what Chicago once was noted for producing, kids whom were tough and played hard. There used to be a sense of urgency to their game. Now I witness dudes just strutting around on the hardwood not going hard. The sad irony is most don’t even understand the game, I’ll assume a lot contributes from reading their press clippings. This diminishing climate of hoops looks to been cultivated by the last few previous class. Hopefully we can create a new culture with this up-coming crop of prospects. We are certainly out in front of these two Classes 2021 & 22, as well as the next batch of up-comers.”

Ahamed “Black Cat” Bynum 6-2 G 1 2021 Chicago Simeon
“Exciting player already possess the ability to score; terrific perimeter shooter; MVP of the Pangos All-Star game a few weeks ago.”

Max Christie 6-4 G 2 2021 Rolling Meadows
“Has enormous potential, like most young players he tries to do too much at times; hype machine needs to tone it down a tad.”

Brandon Weston 6-4 WG 3 2021 Lake Forest Academy
“This talented New York native has a promising floor game to go with athleticism. Showed up one day at the Pangos event where he received a mixed views from national & area scouts.”

Jaylen Drane 6-1 PG 1 2022 Chicago Simeon
“Right now, No.1 in the class; electric floor game & innovative finisher at the rim. He & Bynum will pair up to form a frightening back-court in the next few years.”

Kimahri Wilson 6-0 PG 5 2021 Carmel
“Exciting prospect, floor game fun to watch, has tools to grow into terrific recruit.”

Chris Hodges 6-7 PF 8 2021 Schaumburg
“Has excellent frame & some promising offensive skills that exhibits high-major interest.”

Scottie Ebube 6-8 F 9 2021 Mundelein
“Already resembles a stud, a sharp good lookn prospect with a terrific demeanor & a game to cast along with it. A loyal kid which is a plus in today’s climate.”

Khaillied Terry 6-5 WF 4 2021 Champaign Central
“One of the state’s top athletes regardless of class; this high jumper can be a high-light reel performer some nights. Needs to improve some necessary skill areas.”

Kanye Smith 6-5 G/F 5 2022 Chicago Young
“Good shooter & rebounder, even though he’s a swing-man clone, he was impressive at the Pangos event. We like his game and up-side.”

Grant Newell 6-7 WF 7 2021 Chicago Young
“Slithery silk-smooth floor game; respectable perimeter shooter; stock is soaring.”

Bennie Slater 6-5 WG 10 2021 Springfield High
“A rising stand-out in Central Illinois, the best elite prospect in that area. Wiry fella who can drop 25 a night eventually. Confidence starting to emerge.”

Anthony Sayles 6-0 PG 6 2021 Niles North
“Slippery scoring guarding PG who has demonstrated star quality at times. Already possesses a pretty good understanding of how to play. Once pegged as the next Derrick Rose. Not so after being sized up closely, especially at his current state. D’Rose was a beast entering year two of high-school.”

Kameron Kraft 6-4 WG 6 2022 Buffalo Grove H.S.
“Some observers view him as the best pure shooter in the area; we are high on this kid’s potential.”

Nick Harrell 6-5 F 7 2022 Brother Rice
“Highly touted, the best lookin prospect to enter the South-Side Catholic School in recent years. Very skilled, has high I.Q. should see significant minutes immediately on the varsity.”

Xavier Amos 6-4 WG 4 2022 Chicago Young
“This kid plays above the rim, shoots the rock with a high efficiency. My reliable sources swear he will develop into a high-major recruit.”

A.J. Casey 6-8 F 2 2022 Chicago Simeon
“We need to turn-off the hype machine & give him time to develop into what his game will eventually entitle too. A raw talent but promising. He will add strength & his confidence will continue to grow. I personally want to see him shine.”

Jaylin Gibson 6-3 PG 11 2021 Evanston
“A big physical lead guard with a wealth of potential; it’s time for Gibson to separate himself from others. We are hoping he can channel himself away from the wild frenzy style that several of his mates thrive on. Understanding flow & pace should be his focus. If he does, you would see a modern-day Quinn Buckner.”

Marquan Jones 6-3 WG 9 2022 Chicago Farragut
“A youngster with potential to be a high scorer. Some observers compare him to former Simeon stand-out Talen Horton Tucker. Jones plays for coaches who do a fine job of developing their players. Things look good for him.”

Robby Avila 6-7 F 10 2022 Oak Forest
“A good lookin skilled prospect who people in the South Suburbs peg to be a break-out star one day.”

Jalen Butler 6-6 WF 12 2021 Niles North
“This versatile 15-year-old has awfully bright future. Presently he can defend four positions effectively. Offensive game coming along.”

Ismail Habib 5-10 PG 13 2021 Lincoln Park
“Ismail has demonstrated many times last season he may be ready to be un-leashed soon. A talented play-maker with the ability to hit huge baskets and make clutch plays.”


“Most indicators lead to these players opting to commit or sign later”

*Chris Payton 
*Rashawn Agee 
*Kejuan Clements
*Tujautae Williams 
*Myles Baker 
*Cortez Mosley
*Deonte Billups 
*Terrion Murdix 
*Antonio Reeves
*Jermaine Hamlin 
*Bryant Brown


The loss of many close to my heart in a short period, including a family member in a span of 3 or 4 weeks have left me reflective & baffled, but mindful of many things in my daily surroundings. This last one has taken its toll on many of us, it’s a sharp reminder that every-one must have an expiration date at some point…

North Lawndale basketball Coach Lewis Thorpe passed away unexpectedly a week or so ago, leaving many us still mourning. His loss leaves a huge void not just in the Chicago hoop circles but in the North Lawndale neighborhood where he was the face of their school and a pillar in the community. Lew was a role model, and instrumental in influencing & guiding many students not only athletes. He was admired & loved through-out Chicago, it was on full display when over 1,400 people showed up to memorialize this beloved husband, father, and coach, it re-affirmed the affection so many had for Coach Thorpe. Lew accomplished some amazing achievements at the West-Side School where he was the architect behind the schools 30-4 State Title team in 2007-08; State Runner-up in 2006-07 with a 26-10 mark and the North Lawndale squad that captured the city title in 2008-09 finishing 30-6 record. We may have lost our friend for now, but he will always be fondly remembered for his kind spirit and compassion for others; I certainly will never forget the times we shared.