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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