Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Lonnie Webb

Jabari Parker

The Windy City will try and flex its high school basketball muscle against a field of national powers at the inaugural Chicago Elite Basketball Winter Classic in December.

Three-time defending Class 4A state champion Simeon (Chicago) and Whitney Young (Chicago) are teaming to host the event Dec. 1. Simeon, led by top junior Jabari Parker, is a contender to earn the preseason national No. 1 ranking after going 33-1 in 2011-12.

De La Salle (Chicago) is the third area team scheduled to participate.

"To play locally, in our backyard, in front of Chicago fans and against a national power is a terrific opportunity," Simeon coach Rob Smith said. "Plus, it's Jabari's [Parker] last year. The more opportunities fans have to see him play at home, the better."

Simeon traveled to Memphis for Penny Hardaway's Hoopfest in January, beating local powerhouse Southwind. A rematch is expected to take place at the Chicago Elite Basketball Winter Classic and should be one of the 2012-13 season's most highly-anticipated games.

Southwind spent much of the season in the national rankings behind the play of JaJuan Johnson and Johnathan Williams III before an unexpected early exit from the postseason.

Joining Southwind from out-of-state will be four teams featured in MaxPreps.com's final Xcellent 25 national rankings – No. 3 Milton (Ga.), No. 6 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 13 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 24 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah).

"This will be tremendous exposure for the players in Chicago, each competing team and the city of Chicago," Whitney Young head coach Tyrone Slaughter said.

Additional teams, matchups and venue will be announced at a later date.