To the surprise of nobody, the annual Illinois “Mr. Basketball” award went to Chicago Simeon junior, Jabari Parker. The word “landslide” does not even begin to describe the voting. Parker garnered 400 points in the voting and the second place finisher, Keith Carter, of 4A runner up Proviso East, had 72. Parker is considered the top junior in the nation by most and has every major program in the country desiring his presence on their campus in the autumn of 2013. He has a complete game, both inside and outside, superb ball handling ability along with the requisite size, speed and strength. In addition, he demonstrated throughout the year his grasp of the “team” concept as he did the necessary things, large and small, to help his Simeon squad achieve success. This all culminated with their third straight state championship in Class 4A last week in Peoria. (www.csnchicago.com.).
On the girls side of things, the Peoria Journal Star all conference team for the Mid State 6 was also announced this week. In addition to being named to that first team, senior Maggie Cunningham of Richwoods was also named the area Player of the Year. She led the Lady Knights to a fine season and had the misfortune to suffer a hand injury in the first game of the regional thus keeping her out of the sectionals. Her leadership was evident with the Knights’ younger players, though, as they advanced to the sectional final before falling to Morton. Also named to the first team was Richwoods junior standout, Brenna Detra, senior Jemia Carpenter of Central, senior Chanta Wright of Manual and freshman Olivia Elger of Notre Dame. (www.pjstar.com).