Top talent checking in to Rockford

ROCKFORD – Fred VanVleet was not the most highly sought after recruit coming out of Auburn High School in 2012.

You can still find his prospect page where the 5-11, 175-pound guard is listed as the 138th best player in his class and 19th best point guard. Rivals lists just five Division 1 scholarship offers – Colorado State, Kent State, Missouri State, Northern Illinois and Wichita State.

Wichita State won the modest recruiting battle and VanVleet led them to four NCAA appearances and a Final Four.

Flash forward to today and Rockford is planning a massive celebration for VanVleet, who just finished his third NBA season and is a world champion with the Toronto Raptors. The player who once wasn’t one of the 100 top prospects in his high school class is one of the 100 best players in the world.

Obviously, a lot of college coaches missed something when they watched VanVleet play.

Over the next two weekends, more than 1,000 high school basketball players will take part in the Chicagoland Summer Showcases I and II and the stands will be filled with coaches hoping to find the next VanVleet, a player who can take their programs to a new level.

If you like watching players before they make it big, there will be plenty to choose from. This weekend, you can watch players such as Kiyron Powell of Indiana’s Evansville Bosse High School. Powell already has scholarship offers from 13 schools, including Michigan State, Ohio State and Louisville. Bellevue West of Nebraska will be in Showcase I with their 6-1 point guard, Chucky Hepburn, who has 10 Division I offers. Those schools include Minnesota, Oregon, Purdue and Arizona State.

Showcase II is from June 28 through June 30 is shaping up to be even bigger – literally. Mehlville, Missouri, is coming with 7-0 center Davion Bradley, who has 18 scholarship offers ranging from Illinois to Arizona State to Oklahoma.

If you’re a Wisconsin Badgers fan, LaCrosse Central will be in Rockford with Jonathan and Jordan Davis. The 6-5 twin brothers both verbally committed to the Badgers this month.

Illinois basketball fans can watch Simeon’s Ahamad Bynum, who is fielding offers from DePaul, Illinois, Illinois-Chicago, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

Click here to see boxes on the top prospects coming to Rockford.

Of course, those are the big names. With more than 100 schools playing over the next two weeks, there will be plenty of opportunities for coaches to find another VanVleet, a player whose intelligence and desire add up to more than his height, speed and jumping ability.

Posted on 06.20.19