By Joe Henricksen

Game of the Year in City-Suburban Showdown?

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By Joe Henricksen

In the winter of 1998 the City-Suburban Showdown produced what was commonly billed as the "Game of the Decade" when Fenwick and star Corey Maggette squared off with Whitney Young and Quentin Richardson. The game, played before a sellout crowd at Northwestern, didn't disappoint and lived up to the hype.

The Integrity Group's annual City-Suburban Showdown next February may lay claim to at least the "Game of the Year" during the 2009-2010 season as Waukegan, led by Mr. Basketball favorite and Illinois recruit Jereme Richmond, will meet defending state champion Whitney Young. The game, which will be a rematch of last year's Class 4A state championship game in which Whitney Young won 69-66, will be Saturday, Feb. 20 at the UIC Pavilion.

While we are still three months away from the preseason rankings coming out and six months away from the highly-anticipated rematch between these two powers, it's expected that Waukegan and Whitney Young will certainly be ranked among the top two or three teams in Illinois when the season tips off in late November -- likely No. 1 and No. 2 in most polls.

Whitney Young did lose some experience, talent and toughness with the graduated departures of Marcus Jordan and Chris Colvin, along with some size in Stan Brown. However, coach Tyrone Slaughter's program, from top to bottom, is absolutely loaded. Senior point guard Ahmad Starks, fresh off a terrific summer and set to sign with Oregon State in November, will be the catalyst. Senior Anthony Johnson, who is committed to Purdue, and highly-regarded junior Sam Thompson are both back. Thompson is among the premier talents in the Class of 2011. Add talented sophomores in 6-7 Jermaine Morgan and 5-6 Derrick Randolph, along with freshman phenom Tommy Hamilton, and the Dolphins will be making another run at a state championship -- this season and for a few years to come.

Waukegan, meanwhile, has the state's most decorated player returning in the versatile 6-7 Jereme Richmond. Coach Ron Ashlaw's club will have to try and find a way to replace senior leader and scorer Colin Nickerson, but the Bulldogs do have four starters back in Richmond, point guard Mike Springs, scorer Aaron Johnson and hard-nosed athlete Quan Conner. When you add promising sophomore Akeem Springs, who played off the bench a year ago as a freshman, Waukegan is poised for another run at Peoria and potentially topping last year's state runner-up finish.

The highly-anticipated Whitney Young-Waukegan matchup is not the only game on the docket. Mt. Carmel and talented junior Tracy Abrams will go up against St. Patrick, a terrific Chicago Catholic League vs. East Suburban Catholic League battle. It is expected 6-5 junior Jacob Williams, one of the highly-rated players in the Class of 2011, will be back playing with St. Pat's, while Illinois commit Abrams leads a loaded Caravan team that features junior Adonis Filer, sophomore Malcolm Hill-Bey and 6-7 senior Jon Gac.

In addition, De La Salle, led by the return of 6-8 junior Mike Shaw and the arrival of promising 6-7 freshman Alex Foster, will take on a Simeon team brimming with talent in the first game of this tripleheader. Coach Robert Smith has an abundance of veteran and young talent returning for Simeon. Athletic senior Brandon Spearman, who has committed to Dayton, is the headliner. The guard tandem of junior Tywon Pinckney and sophomore Jelani Neely should be one of the best in the Chicago Public League, while the arrival of freshman Jabari Parker is highly anticipated.

The City-Suburban Showdown will not only feature six teams that all figure to be ranked in the preseason, including arguably the top two teams, the City-Suburban Showdown will offer fans a glimpse of the three precocious freshman phenoms that have been all the rage even prior to playing a game of high school basketball. Whitney Young's Tommy Hamilton, Simeon's Jabari Parker and De La Salle's Alex Foster are all sporting high-major offers and are among the top players nationally in the Class of 2013.

The Lineup
4:30 p.m. St. Patrick vs. Mt. Carmel
6:30 p.m. De La Salle vs. Simeon
8:30 p.m. Whitney Young vs. Waukegan

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9 Comments

THAT IS WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT SIMEON HIGH SCHOOL, THEY NEVER SHY AWAY FROM COMPETITION, THEY PLAY THE BEST AND AT THE END OF THE SEASON THEY ARE ALWAYS KNOCKING AT THE DOOR, PLAYOFF TIME, DON'T FORGET PLEASE DONATE SO THE SIMEON BASEBALL TEAM CAN REVAMP THEIR FIELD, CALL COACH LEROY FRANKLIN AT THE HIGH SCHOOL IF YOU CAN HELP OUT, CALLING ALL SIMEON ALUMNI AND FORMER CPS BASEBALL PLAYERS, PLEASE HELP COACH FRANKLIN AND SIMEON WITH THIS EFFORT!
THANK YOU!

De La Salle losing Dre Henley really hurt there chances of winning a state championship do u think Alex Foster can replace him ? I for one hopes he can !

THE BIG QUESTION IS WILL DELASALLE BE ABLE TO KEEP MR. FOSTER FOR FOUR YEARS?
DON'T MEAN TO PUT SALT IN THE WOUND, BUT THIS COULD BE A POSSIBILITY, YOU SEE PHILLIP JACKSON JUST LEFT PROVIDENT
ST-MEL, FOR A CPS SCHOOL, WHICH ONE REMAINS A MYSTERY, BUT THE SCHOOL LOOKS LIKE THE ONE IN THE BEVERLY AREA!

"The Big Question"...

is when (and it will happen) the IHSA will finally run out of patience for all the crap that the Irvins will bring to Illinois high school basketball.

Will it be sooner or later?

Will they wait until MP becomes a Findley Prep type of program where players from around the world play for "Coach" Irvin, yet never step foot in the classroom???

THE LAST PART BY PHIL K ABOUT NOT STEPPING IN THE CLASSROOM IS FALSE, YOU WILL ATTEND CLASS AT MORGAN PARK HIGH SCHOOL, THIS SCHOOL DOES HAVE STANDARDS!
HOW ABOUT A BIG SHOT OUT TO A GREAT COACH BOB HAMBRIC, A MAN WHO NEVER WAVERED WITH HIS STANDARDS, HE NEVER PLAYED FRESHMAN ON THE VARSITY, THAT WAS A RULE HE NEVER COMPROMISED, COACH BOB HAMBRIC A MAN WHO RAN A TIGHT SHIP!
THE PRIDE OF SIMEON HIGH SCHOOL, THE ARCHITECT OF WHAT A WINNING PROGRAM SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT- DISCIPLINE, DEDICATION, DESIRE, HARDWORK, THANKS COACH FOR SHOWING US THE MODEL, THANK YOU TO THE HAMBRIC FAMILY FOR SHARING YOUR HUSBAND, FATHER, BROTHER, UNCLE WITH ALL OF US OVER THE YEARS, THANK YOU FOR THE EXCELLENT PLAYERS YOU PRODUCED, THE COUNTLESS ATHLETES YOU HELPED SEND TO VARIOUS COLLEGES ACROSS THE NATION, THANK YOU FOR THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP, THE COUNTLESS CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS, THANK YOU FOR BEING A MOLDER OF YOUNG MEN IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO!

I wish people would stop taking these players out of schools anytime they want. Where r the parents in all this. Or do they sell their kids to the highest bidder. u should have to sit out a year if u transfer, just like college. This would stop all this leaving every year to play for a different school.

UNFORTUNATELY COACH THIS ISN'T COLLEGE, AND SAD AS IT MAY BE MANY OF THE YOUNG MEN WHO BOUNCE AROUND NEVER GET TO SEE A COLLEGE CAMPUS!
SOME FALL IN FAVOR OF THE SUMMER LEAGUE COACH, AND THEY WANT TO PLAY FOR THAT COACH AT THE HIGH SCHOOL, IF IT IS POSSIBLE, OR THEY ARE RECRUITED BY PREP SCHOOLS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES!
DELASALLE JUST LOST A PLAYER TO A PREP SCHOOL!
PROVIDENT ST. MEL JUST LOST THEIR BIG MAN TO A CPS SCHOOL!
ONE YOUNGSTER AT A CATHOLIC SCHOOL DECIDED NOT TO PLAY A SPORT TO CONCENTRATE ON BASKETBALL!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE YOUNG MEN WHO ARE PLAYING FOOTBALL, I BELIEVE ALL FRESHMEN SHOULD PLAY AT LEAST ONE SPORT, AND IT SHOULD BE EITHER FOOTBALL, GOLF, OR CROSS COUNTRY, WHY YOU MAY ASK, BECAUSE IT IS THE FALL SPORT OF CHOICE, WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE THERE WAS BIG SIGN IN THE GYM, IT SIMPLY SAID, DON'T WATCH----- PLAY!

does nobody see all of the remaining talent at De La Salle. Yes Henley left, but shaw is 2x better. They have a solid PG in Rob Robinson.. Alex Foster is beginning to comie around and will only get better. They have another scorer in Troy torrence Senior guard.. Henley isnt a big deal to them

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on August 19, 2009 7:53 PM.

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