By Joe Henricksen

Okafor dominates at R-B; player movement stirring

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By Joe Henricksen

While Proviso East wrapped up the tournament title at Riverside-Brookfield this past weekend and confirmed its place among the top teams heading into next season, there was no question who the top individual talent was at R-B. Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor, who is just wrapping up his freshman year, was a man among boys.

In addition to a low-post game and tremendous feel on the block and around the basket for a player so young, the 6-9 Okafor even showed improvement away from the basket. He stepped out, faced up and knocked down a couple of 15-16 foot jumpers without hesitation.

While Okafor may not have the explosiveness and pure athleticism many top national prospects will showcase, he is very nimble and has good balance. Plus, his feet are pretty quick for a player who carries that much weight. His footwork, great hands, superior power, strength and overall ability for his age are second to none. Okafor is such a physical mismatch, especially at the high school level, every time he hits the floor. He's a no-brainer high-major with star potential.

The duo of Okafor and classmate Paul White, a 6-6 point forward, will be quite a tandem over the next three years for Whitney Young.

Player movement stirs up
A rumor that has been floating around since the regular season ended in March appears to have finally come to fruition -- star sophomore guard Jaylon Tate is leaving De La Salle. The rumored destination is Tate will be heading to Simeon, but as of this past weekend nothing has been finalized.

Tate, however, leaves a stable situation at De La Salle, where he has been running the show at point guard for two years and is poised to take a big step forward with the departure of Dre Henley and Mike Shaw. The trio of Tate, Alvin Ellis and Alex Foster would certainly have put the Meteors in the preseason top five next season.

In addition to the Tate transfer, Downers Grove South looks as if it will be without Jerron Wilbut, a talented 6-2 guard who helped the Mustangs to a regional title this past March. DGS would be a likely preseason top 10 team with Wilbut. However, the senior-to-be looks as though he may be headed the prep school route, possibly landing at La Lamuire Prep Academy in Indiana.

Look for the ball to be in Billy Garrett's hands a whole lot more at Morgan Park as it appears classmate Markee Williams, a talented 5-9 point guard in the Class of 2013, is likely moving on to another city program.

Another point guard moving on is little dynamo Derrick Randolph. After being in and out of the lineup and dealing with eligibility issues throughout his career at Whitney Young, the 5-6 Randolph will be at Phillips. While Randolph is a terrific little package of talent, he will need to find a way to stay on the court and playing.

And Bogan, a team that surprised this past season and would have definitely been a ranked team in the preseason, could be decimated by transfers. Multiple players appear to be moving on -- and are already playing with others schools this spring -- including up-and-coming 6-8 sophomore Moshawn Thomas.

Look for more coverage from the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout later this week.

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7 Comments

It's crazy joe how all these city kids just pickup and transfer every year all for the same reason, basketball. My question is where are the parents of these kids they need to tell them that in life there are lots of obstacles and u have and jumping from school to school is not a good thing. I wish these kids the best but the real world is gonna be a lot tougher.

class of 2013 star Andrew cudzich appears to be transfering as well to!! wonder what terry head has to say about that...does anybody know about this ?

Joe, any truth to several players leaving Young? If so, why?

Well anonymous, maybe if you could talk to these kids you will see that most of them think they are doing whats right for them. In this city these coaches/securtiy gaurds/teachers that the C.P.S hires. arent totally honest with them. See, you might think im saying that the children are wrong NAW. the best players play and when your not you find somewhere theres a need. Not all of these kids moves are wrong. C.P.S!is the major problem here. you trippin about basketball moves and where the parents, im talkin about soooo many children being misled by these prolific coaches in chicago sitting on the sideline using these kids and tossing them to the side because they dont have parents. the ones doing all the transferring they will be alright, they got somewhere to land. everyone knows the rules in this city(transfer). the problem is we arent telling them its just $65.00 to sign up clearinghouse. when we leed them to the water its the coaches job to make him drink, i know thats not your job. But, your selling basketball or else to these kids so finish the job. dont use the excuse he dont want it enough. because we know whats the alternative, but because we got where we are we forget sometimes how you got there. my boy keeps the grades up because thats whats important to not only himself but the colleges he aspire to go to. we live in the 3rd largest city in U.S.A, crime, drugs,all kinds of reasons you switch schools. the problem is thats not these coaches first priority. and one mo thing NOBODY SCORES IN THE HOLE.

Joe...If you had to predict right now, is there any way you see Jabari Parker graduating with 4 state championships? If everything stays like this, I assume Simeon will be one the favorites the next few years. Thanks, Mike.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on June 6, 2011 7:30 PM.

Proviso East wins R-B Shootout was the previous entry in this blog.

Surprise, surprise at R-B is the next entry in this blog.

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