Unlike their counterparts at the college and professional levels, high school basketball programs don't typically need to hold a preseason media day.
For most high school teams, attention from writers, photographers and website operators is more than welcome and seen as an opportunity to promote the program and student-athletes. It might even help put a few fans in the stands.
But Simeon (Chicago)
, Illinois' three-time defending Class 4A state champion, doesn't need help doing that. At this point, the media attention – especially that revolving around star senior Jabari Parker
– has become almost burdensome.
That's why the Wolverines hosted a media day Nov. 12, inviting local and national media to do their thing so the Chicago powerhouse can lock in on a pair of big goals – a fourth-straight state title and high school basketball's mythical national title.
Both are well within reach for the No. 1 team in the MaxPreps Preseason Xcellent 25
. The Wolverines are led by a head coach with a handful of state championships already and one of the nation's top senior prospects in Parker, a 6-foot-8 small forward that Sports Illustrated famously featured on its cover.
What makes this team potentially special, however, goes far beyond Parker.
Simeon has a roster that features 10 Division I prospects, including guards Kendrick Nunn
(6-2, Sr.) and Jaylon Tate
(6-1, Sr.), who are already committed to Illinois. Big man Quron Davis
has made a pledge to Chicago State and Kendall Pollard
to Dayton. Ricky Norris
, Russell Woods
and Sean Moore Jr.
could also be off to Division I programs next fall.
A potential distraction is the recruitment of Parker, who is still deciding between BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford. He hopes to end things by December, allowing him to focus on finishing off one of the storied runs in Chicago high school basketball history in style.
Over the past two seasons, Simeon is 62-3 and 87-12 since Parker arrived on campus as a freshman. The Wolverines will be heavily favored to become the first Illinois team since Manual (Peoria) from 1994-97 during the dual-classification days to win four state titles in a row. Simeon's last five seasons:
2011-12 – 32-1 (Robert Smith), Class 4A state champions
2010-11 – 30-2 (Robert Smith), Class 4A state champions
2009-10 – 25-9 (Robert Smith), Class 4A state champions
2008-09 – 16-10 (Robert Smith)
2007-08 – 29-4 (Robert Smith)