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The bizarre case of Wayne Blackshear

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By Joe Henricksen

While the Wayne Blackshear camp has yet to come out publicly with what has transpired over the past week, Curie and coach Mike Oliver have all but moved on. The Condors played their second game Monday night without Blackshear, losing to Robeson after beating Morton Sunday night at North Park.

There were rumors floating around North Park Sunday night regarding the possibility that Blackshear, arguably the top prospect in the Class of 2011, may be moving from the Curie program. When Curie walked in the gym and there was no Blackshear, the rumors spread like wildfire.

"It's time to move on and move forward," Oliver said Sunday night when asked about Blackshear.

Blackshear was at practice last Thursday with his Curie teammates and then, just like that, was gone. Curie did not hear from or see Blackshear for three days. According to sources, Blackshear is now at Morgan Park, where Nick Irvin is currently the head coach. The Irvin family, of course, runs the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program that Blackshear plays for in the offseason.

Ever since Irvin took over the Morgan Park program earlier this year, numerous people asked the question: "Who will be the first player to move over to Morgan Park?" Now we have the answer. And are more to follow?

The common response the Hoops Report has heard in the past 24-36 hours from people is, "Nothing in the Public League surprises me." While that may be true, this move compared to many of the other bizarre moves over the years in the Chicago Public League borders absurd. Here is a player that, no matter who he plays high school or AAU basketball with, is a high-major talent who can play at the highest level in college. And to make things even more mindboggling, here are Blackshear's own words in his player diary in the Sun-Times just last Friday: "School has been going real well. I'm passing every class.... I've been really happy at Curie, everyone gets along and the teachers are real nice. They help you with everything."

Now the fallout begins.

First, Blackshear could very easily be ruled ineligible to play. How sad would it be if this young, super talent has to sit a year of high school following this transfer? But this is about as high-profile of a transfer case as you will find. Then you throw in all the connections involved, the drama of it being a mid-season transfer and the ramifications for future cases, and CPS Director of Sports Administration Calvin Davis has a mess on his hands in how he will deal with this situation.

Second, how will this sit with others in the Chicago Public League, namely coaches who may be guarding and trying to hold on to their own players with all their might as you read this?

Third, there were more than a couple of high-major college programs who, when notified of Blackshear's move to play for Nick Irvin and Morgan Park, noted the chances of them landing the super sophomore were slim and none. They pointed out the landscape of Blackshear's recruitment would quickly change as the handlers in charge of his recruitment will now certainly shift.

And finally, you have to feel for Curie coach Mike Oliver, a good guy in the Chicago Public League who took Blackshear under his wing at an early age. He looked out for his best interests early on, going all the way back to 6th grade. A Curie guy through and through, you could hear the excitement in Oliver's voice last year as he spoke about Blackshear and the other young talent coming into the Curie program. And now this.

Yes, nothing should surprise us in the Chicago Public League.

North Park Shootout Tidbits
The games on Sunday were more about who was not there than who was, particularly with the premier game of the day -- Curie vs. Morton. Both teams were without their top players. Morton's Luke Scarlata was out after having an appendectomy and Wayne Blackshear of Curie was missing because .... well, see above.

Providence St. Mel's Phillip Jackson, the long, athletic 6-8 big man, struggled at times against Von Steuben. But make no mistake, Jackson is every bit the prospect everyone believes he is. He's just barely scratched the surface and is clearly one of the top half dozen prospects in the Class of 2010.

What Jackson will be in college is not what he is today. He projects to be a strong, mobile big man with a great body and frame, athleticism and length, and the ability to beat opposing big men down the floor. He still has big strides to make in the overall development of his game, but his combination of agility and strength potential jumps out at you. And while his offensive game is raw, he does have a decent release and rotation on his shot, especially for a big man.

The Morgan Park tandem of 6-3 guard Victor Scott and 6-5 forward Aaron Moise are a couple of under-the-radar small college prospects. Scott has a scorer's mentality with nice size and athleticism for a guard. Moise is an absolutely, off-the-charts explosive athlete and is an undersized four-man at the next level. He is constantly up and around the rim and gets quite a bit done. He's a huge force on the offensive glass. Moise scored 22 points in the loss to Leo on Sunday. Both Scott and Moise are solid students in the classroom.

While Leo's James Pointer gets most of the attention for the Lions, time and time again the potential of 2-guard Darrin Johnson is on display. He was solid Sunday in the win over Morgan Park. Johnson has a trio of attributes that impress you: he's a big-time athlete, has a great body and strength for a perimeter player and can really shoot the ball. He gets tremendous elevation on his jumper and has a nice, high release point. He does lack the fluid ability to put the ball on the floor. And though he's a terrific finisher in transition, he struggles getting to the basket in the halfcourt.

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16 Comments

You said it all with your first line......The "Wayne Blackshear Camp". I could not imagine being a 15 year old kid and choosing not to play basketball. The unfortunate thing, it probably was not his choice! Obama closed GitMo, can he start working on AAU.

Is this a joke? There is no justifiable reason for this Blackshear thing whether he plays or doesn't. How can the CPS let this one happen? Awful

How can you feel sorry for Mike Oliver. What comes around goes around. Last year he stole Steve Goins from leo and Dennis Hodges from Hales... When you play the under the table game sometimes you get played

YOU ARE TRYING TO THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER
AAU BASKETBALL IS NOT THE CULPRIT, THE BOTTOM LINE IS
AAU BASKETBALL GETS A YOUNGSTER MORE EXPOSURE THAN SUB
STANDARD HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS!
BOBBY FRASOR WOULDN'T BE AT NORTH CAROLINA WITHOUT AAU
BASKETBALL, DARIUS MILES WOULDN'T HAVE MADE IT TO THE
NBA WITHOUT AAU BASKETBALL, NEITHER WOULD HAVE TYSON
CHANDLER, I'M NOT SAYING AAU BASKETBALL IS PERFECT, BUT
THE RIGHT PROGRAM AND SOME TALENT WILL EARN YOU A COLLEGE
SCHOLARSHIP!
JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION!
SOME OF YOU ARE TRYING TO CLOSE THE BARN DOOR AFTER THE
HORSES HAVE LEFT THE BARN, THE TRANSFER PROBLEM IN THE
CPS IS SO OUT OF CONTROL, THAT YOUNGSTERS LEAVE THE
SUBURBS AND TRANSFER TO CITY SCHOOLS!
SO IF IT IS TRUE THAT THIS YOUNG MAN LEFT ONE CPS SCHOOL
FOR ANOTHER, THIS ISN'T MUCH, IF HE HAD BEEN A PLAYER
WITH ZERO TALENT, NOBODY WOULD HAVE CARED!

PHIL SMITH JR! I USUALLY ENJOY READING YOUR COMMENTARY BUT YOU OFF ON THIS ONE!!!!!!!! AAU basketball can help in some cases, but come on! You act as if no players will be discovered or found if not for AAU! How on earth did college coaches ever find a Darius Miles type 25 years ago when AAU was basically non-existent? You really think Blackshear wouldn't have big Division I schools after him without AAU? You really think this transfer wasn't AAU related? Come on PHIL SMITH JR! You've been better then this.

Clean up AAU? Does that mean removing kids solicitating candy or asking for donation in the name of AAU ball from crowded street intersections? If so, lets pull out the mops and broom sticks.

AAU is not the be all end all. Neither is high school. The Blackshear situation stinks to high heaven. How can you have the best interest of a kid when you coax him to transfer in the middle of the high school season? Ridiculous!!!! I have coached AAU Ball and most of the coaches are incompetent. All they know how to do is stockpile talent, that's it. These coaches and the Irvins are messing up this kids career. AAU is one of the reasons the college and pro game is down and TV ratings are down. Nobody knows how to teach fundamental basketball anymore. And there are a lot of coaches in the city who can't coach out of a wet paper bag. Kids getting sold to high schools and colleges are ridiculous. Blackshear is a talent but has no fundamentals to his game. Who is teaching him the game? Who is teaching him the right way to play the game? This is part of the reason I don't get into high school coaching. Too many street agents and go betweens who have no clue about the game. Just trying to sell the kid to the highest bidder and line their pockets. This is an AAU transfer plain and simple. And a kid should NOT have handlers. He should be able to choose a college on his own accord. Not because of a shoe company or an AAU or high school coach.

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, YOU SAY, NOBODY IN GREAT NUMBERS
WAS GOING PRO OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL!
WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HATE LARRY BUTLER, HE HAS SENT
MORE GUYS TO THE NBA OUT OF HIS AAU PROGRAM THAN ANYONE
IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS!
ALSO I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AAU PROGRAM,
I'M TALKING ABOUT THE AAU PROGRAM THAT TRAVELS BY AIR,
ALL SUMMER LONG AND PLAYS AGAINST TOP-FLITE COMPETITON!
SOME OF YOU ARE VERY SHALLOW TO THINK THAT AAU PROGRAMS
AREN'T HELPING YOUNG MEN BECOME PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL
PLAYERS, SOME OF YOU SEE THE PLAYER ONLY DURING HIS
SEASON, THE SCOUTS SEE THE ELITE PLAYER ON A YEAR AROUND
SCHEDULE AND THAT SCHEDULE IS BASED ON THEIR AAU TEAM!
IF YOUR AAU TEAM ISN'T CONNECTED WITH A SHOE COMPANY,
THEN YOU BETTER KNOW A MILLIONAIRE TO SPONSOR YOUR
PROGRAM, THE DAYS OF AN ELITE PLAYER, PLAYING FOR THE
AVERAGE AAU PROGRAM ARE OVER!
IN CLOSING I AM SORRY THAT THE YOUNG MAN LEFT CURIE TO
ATTEND MORGAN PARK, I AM SORRY THE YOUNG MAN LEFT
WASHINGTON TO ATTEND FENGER, I AM SORRY THE YOUNG MAN
LEFT RICH SOUTH TO ATTEND CRANE, I AM SORRY THE YOUNG
MAN LEFT ST. RITA TO ATTEND NORTH LAWNDALE, BUT MOST OF
ALL I AM SORRY THAT THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
GOT AWAY FROM NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS, ONCE WE GO BACK TO
NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS WHICH THEY WON'T BECAUSE CHARTER
SCHOOLS ARE THE PRIORITY THESE DAYS, THE SYSTEM IS BROKE
BUT THE BIG QUESTION IS WHEN THE BALL STOPS BOUNCING WILL
YOU HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE OR WILL YOU BE ANOTHER HAS BEEN
WHOM EVERYBODY REMEMBERS ON THE ASPHALT!
AMERICA IT IS EASIER TO GET A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP
BOUNCING A BASKETBALL THAN RECEIVING AN ACADEMIC
SCHOLARSHIP! THE PLAYERS KNOW IT, THAT IS WHY THEY BOUNCE
AROUND SO MUCH!
JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION!

As long as the school system allows it, this kind of stuff will go on, and on, and on. If this kid is as good as he's made out to be, then his ability to get a basketball scholarship would not be diminished be playing for Curie over Morgan Park. Obviously, this is a personal choice for him for whatever reason. AAU starts in March after the season. I'm sure the coach at Morgan Park would be happy to take him at that time. College coaches are everywhere at the AAU events, high school is small potatoes by comparison. It's the kid and his family's decision and the system is now designed (unintentionally, of course) to promote it. It's that simple. There's little loyalty toward anything anymore and if a kid thinks he can get ahead by working the system, he's going to do it.

But never fear, Obama is going to save us all! LOL.

What ever happen to coaches showing love and passion for the game. Because if you love the game as a coach you won't feel the need to cheat at all cost just to win games and make some money for youself, as we all know we are the lowest paid coaches in the country, but our love fo the game should see us through, any good coach would know that basketball is truly about giving back to what help us get through highschool. Me personally i think all kids should sit out two years if they transfer because of basketball.

FOR ALL THOSE THAT FEEL AAU DOES NOT PLAY A PART IN THE RECRUITMENT OF A PLAYER THEY ARE WRONG. TRAVELLING AAU TEAMS GIVE KIDS MORE EXPOSURE THEN THERE HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS. NOW DAYS THE ONLY KIDS THAT GET THE FAME AND THE ACCOLADES ARE THOSE THAT ATTEND THE TOP TIER HIGH SCHOOLS SUCH AS THE WHITNEY YOUNGS AND CRANES AND MARSHALLS. PEOPLE FORGET THAT ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE A STOCK PILE OF TALENT AT THOSE SCHOOLS THERE IS GREATER TALENT ELSEWHERE. AAU HELPS THOSE PLAYERS THAT CHOOSE TO ATTEND AN UNKNOWN SCHOOL. ALTHOUGH THE SITUATION WITH WAYNE IS MESSED UP, THE COACHING STAFF OF HIS AAU TEAM DID NOT HAV THE LAST SAY IN HIS CHOICE, HIS FAMILY PLAYED AN EQUAL PART IN HIS CHOICE TOO.

I DON'T THINK MIKE OLIVER WANTS ANYBODY TO FEEL SORRY
FOR HIM, HE HAS BEEN VERY GRACIOUS DURING THIS ENTIRE
SITUATION, HE SAID THE YOUNG MAN WANTS TO PLAY FOR HIS
AAU COACH, HE SAID THE PARENTS WANT HIM TO PLAY FOR THE
AAU COACH, I HAVE NOT HEARD ONE BAD WORD FROM MIKE OLIVER
HE KNOWS THE SHIP MUST KEEP SAILING, HE IS A TRUE CAPTAIN
OF A SHIP, SALUTATIONS TO MIKE OLIVER, A CALM VOICE IN
A PERFECT STORM!
AT LEAST SOME JUCO DIDN'T TAKE THE YOUNG MAN TO OKLAHOMA,
OOPS I FORGOT THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO ANOTHER
PROGRAM!
NOW YOU HAVE TWO YOUNG MEN WHO CAN'T FINISH THE SEASON
WITH THE TEAM THEY STARTED THE SEASON WITH, HIGH SCHOOL
BASKETBALL HAS PROBLEMS, IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE, WHOM
CAN REPAIR THE DAMAGE?
JUST MY HUMBLE OPINION!

HEY PHIL JR YOU SAID NOBODY WOULD CARE OF BLACKSHEAR WASNT ANY GOOD? DO U THINK NICK IRVIN WOULD CARE ABOUT WAYNE IF HE WASNT ANY GOOD EITHER. THEY ARE USERS. I WOULD NOT TRUST ANYONE IN THE IRVING FAMILY AS FAR AS I CAN THROW EM, AND AS BIG AS NICK AS GOT I COULDNT THROW HIM AT ALL. IF YOU DONT THINK THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO STEAL MIKE SHAW FROM DELASALLE AND ABRHAMS FROM MT CARMEL, THEN YOU ARE CRAZY, THEY CAN CARE LESS ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING, THEY JUST WANT TO WIN. THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THESE TRANSFERS, THEY LET THESE KIDS TRANSFER FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL WITHOUT HAVING TO SIT OUT A FULL YEAR. THE EXCUSE IS ALWAYS THAT THEY MOVED. DENNIS HODGES HAS ATTENDED AT LEAST 3 SCHOOLS AND HE PROBABLY ISNT DONE YET. AAU IS TERRIBLE FOR HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL. THESE COACHES ARE BASICALLY STREET AGENTS WHO TRY AND RUN A YOUNG MANS LIFE. LETS BE REAL THE IRVING CAMP IS IN EVERY BIG TIME PLAYER IN CHICAGO TRYING TO GET THEM TO TRANSFER. AND THAT IS THE ONLY REASON HE WAS HIRED AT MORGAN PARK.

OH YEAH PHIL ONE MORE THING, A 7'1 INCH ATHLETIC PLAYER WHO RUNS THE FLOOR LIKE A DEER WOULDNT HAVE MADE IT TO THE NBA WITHOUT AAU? OR A 6'9 GAURD LIKE DARIUS MILES WOULD HAVE WENT UNDER THE RADAR? THAT WAS A JOKE RIGHT?

AAU is now the new semi-pro basketball camp out there. Players hold out for the highest bidder for AAU Basketball. whomever offers the top talent the most stuff for FREE, they players move toward the top talent. Top AAU talent receives a ton of free stuff (shoes, bags, sweat outfits, slides, baskeball, compression shorts, ... and more). In the Irvin AAU team, players receive hundreds if not thousands of dollars in free apparel, tournaments, travel and food.

I thought High School Sports was supposed to be for the non-pro athlete.

Capital Phil is sounding a little protective towards the issue of this blog - he must have some kind of connection to AAU.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on January 26, 2009 10:53 PM.

The best team no one talks about was the previous entry in this blog.

Wait and see for several recruits is the next entry in this blog.

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