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Basketball Mon Feb 18 2013

Chicago High School Teams Have More to Play for

php8yG8xEPM.jpgIt might seem pointless after a fantastic Chicago Public Schools boys' basketball tournament, won by Whitney Young, but there's still quite a bit of season left. And now the city's finest have to prove themselves against the rest of Illinois.

For Simeon--who was knocked out by a fired up Morgan Park team in the city semifinals--the mission is simple: win state for the fourth time and cement legacies for those on their way out the door: Kendrick Nunn, Kendall Pollard, Jabari Parker, and potentially head coach Robert Smith, who has made it clear recently that he wouldn't mind a position on a college staff. (I'm sure Northwestern or DePaul would oblige.) But it won't be easy with Whitney Young also in 4A, not to mention Proviso East, Belleville East, and even Curie. The state of Illinois is, as usual, stacked.

One team Simeon won't have to worry about this season is Morgan Park. The Mustangs are the overwhelming favorites for the 3A title, though they might run into trouble against fellow city power Orr.

Since the Illinois High School Association expanded from two to four classes in 2007, a Chicago Public School has captured either the 3A or 4A title every single season. Simeon's run of three in a row has helped, but Young and Marshall have chipped in. With the talent in Chicago in 2013, two state champions is a distinct possibility.

Photo by Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

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