In the wake of our recent blog that rated the top five high school basketball players in Illinois since 1990, an astute reader responded:
"How can Dwyane Wade not be in the top five since 1990?"
I didn't include Wade on my list because, for one reason or another, I never saw him play in high school. And the list was based on players I had seen over that period of time.
But others admitted they had committed a turnover.
"Leaving Dwyane Wade off our list was a drastic oversight on our part, as we can assure you that we have always been among his biggest fans," said Roy Schmidt of Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye.
"If we could do it over, Wade should be in the first five ahead of Jon Scheyer, who gets bumped to the second team. There may not be a high school player from Illinois since 1990 who has had a stronger work ethic than Wade."
Perhaps Wade's biggest fan was Sun-Times stringer Dan Ruane, a former St. Laurence football player who has covered football and basketball on the South Side and in the south and southwest suburbs for more than 20 years.
I still recall how Ruane touted Wade for Player of the Year during the Sun-Times All-Area deliberations. At the time, few others had seen Wade. But Ruane insisted no other player in the Chicago area was in Wade's class. As it turned out, he was right.
"We remember Ruane touting Wade and, in fact, he was the one who told us about him," Roy Schmidt said. "During Wade's junior year, the only people we are aware of who were taking about him were (Richards coach) Jack Fitzgerald, Ruane, (longtime high school basketball observer) Dan Laffee and the two (Roy and Harv Schmidt) of us.
"Wade was not our Player of the Year as a senior at Richards but he wound up as our No. 3 ranked player in our final rankings of the class of 2000, behind East St. Louis' Darius Miles and Westinghouse's Cedrick Banks."
Miles was singled out as Mr. Basketball in Illinois while Banks, who was the MVP at the Proviso West holiday tournament, was the Sun-Times' choice as Player of the Year in the Chicago area.