By Joe Henricksen

Jalen James leaving Hope Academy

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By Joe Henricksen

Hope Academy's dreams of a Class 1A state championship this season will come to an abrupt end when star guard Jalen James makes the move to La Lamuire Prep School in Indiana. According to sources, the move will happen immediately.

James, a smooth, pass-first junior point guard who has committed to Illinois, has led Hope Academy to a 14-2 start this season. The 6-3 James is among the top dozen prospects in the talented Class of 2013.

The move, which has been in the works for the past week, is being made in an effort to improve James' academic standing and put him in a better position to qualify academically. Other Illinois prep players have made the move to La Lumiere, including current players Bobo Drummond (Southern Illinois recruit) and Jay Simpson (Purdue recruit), who played at Peoria Central and Champaign Central, respectively, prior to transferring.

James is one of two early commitments for Illinois coach Bruce Weber in the Class of 2013, along with 6-6 Malcolm Hill of Belleville East. The move to La Lumiere does not impact his commitment to Illinois, though the question now is does Illinois continue to recruit other point guards in the junior class with uncertainty surrounding James' academics?

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7 Comments

La Lamuire can have jalen. Hope doesn't need him after tonight's win against Marshall Hope can still win big and do great things with out him.

Hope just rolled over Marshall without Jalen James, who is only Hope's 3rd best player. What an incredible lack of character for AAU coach and U of I coach to encourage James to leave his school and his teammates in the middle of the season. How about just working harder in school?

I guess Hope's dreams of a 1A state championship are still alive, after watching them take down 3A Marshall yesterday!
They obviously had a little more under the hood than Jalen James. It is also pretty sad that Jalen is being shuffled off to a school that will make sure his grades are "satisfactory" to get to the next level. I find it peculair that the 3 players you mention in your article are all part of the same AAU program.

Good article - I think Illinois has to cover themselves and continue to recruit. Just as long as Weber doesn't start pulling a Tom Crean, and start dramatically overcommiting and pulling scholarships.

"The move is being made in an effort to improve James' academic standing and put him in a better position to qualify academically."
In other words, Jalen's grades didn't cut it at Chicago Hope Academy, so he is transferring to another school that will "GIVE" him the grades he needs so he can get into Illinois.
Chicago Hope is an academic institution with a great basketball team, not a great basketball team attached to an academic institution.
Jalen might get it done on the court, but he can't hang in the classroom.

Wow a lot of haters on here. Maybe that school would give him more structure and support. I dont know, but i dont think we should be bashing this kid without knowing his motivation or reasons.

Jalen is not the only boy that has left this team. In fact 18 months ago another starting player left.

If Chicago Hope wins the title then the boys on the team will look back and see that winning requires a team. Winning in life and winning on the basketball court. I am not sure what God's plan is. However, everything will work out the way he has planned for us.

Will Chicago Hope win the 1A title this year? I don't know. What I do know is winning requires selfless acts. Leaving your team for personal gain is not a long term receipt for long-term success.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on January 4, 2012 7:55 PM.

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