Windy City Warriors
Big talent on display at the Chicago Public School Showcase.
Cyrus McGinnis knows how to get it done. The Commissioner of the hoops division of the Chicago Public Schools went all out to assemble the finest group of talent that the CPS had to offer for his annual CPS Showcase at Chicago State this past weekend.
Games popped off in the morning and matched tough teams against each other throughout the day, with the main event being state champion vs state champion 4A Simon vs. 3A Hillcrest. The talent was so legit in fact that Chicago legends Derrick Rose and Antoine Walker both had to make appearances to see what their city had to offer. From a media standpoint, you couldn’t complain with the legit party platter that they had to offer in the coach’s box above the court and the crazy hoops that you got to see. But, in one of the freakier incidents I’ve seen, the power did go out in the arena for a good 45 minutes. Luckily for me, I was getting my grub on at that time though.
Here’s a look at some of the top ballers from the CPS Showcase:
Wayne Blackshear, 6-5, SG, Morgan Park, 2011
The most dominant player in the CPS did his thing against Homewood Flosser, including what was the best dunk of the early season that I’ve seen thus far (unfortunately we aren’t able to show you because the CPS doesn’t allow you to film games). He was a straight scoring machine getting buckets in every way possible. Put a smaller guy on him, you’re getting taken straight to the blocks. Put a bigger guy on him, check your ankles. Play off him, get ready to hit a three in your eye. The Louisville recruit has been under the microscope since his sophomore year and don’t expect that to change throughout his senior season at Morgan Park.
Quinten Payne, 6-4, SG/PG, St. Charles North, 2013
The younger bro of Iowa freshman Cully Payne really turned some heads with his dominant play against Anthony Davis. After moving back from Florida, the sturdy comgo guard was a bit of a forgotten name in the Chicago hoops world. With his performance Sunday, that won’t happen again. Payne got to the rim, dealt with pressure well, and dropped some a few nasty dimes in St. Charles North’s blowout W. He even showed off some deceptive bounce on the break with a 2 handed flush, lending more reason to why he should wind up at a bigtime college by the time its all said and done.
Anthony Davis, 6-10, PF, Perspevtives Charter, 2011
Scout.com’s No. 1 player in the class struggled a bit against St. Charles North, being the focal point of their D throughout the entire game. Perspectives Charter is a math and science academy on the south side of Chicago, not necessarily a place that you see pumping in DI talent year in and year. AD23 was forced to run point for the entire game in order to assure that he had the rock in his hands every time down the court. Chilling on the outside, the Kentucky recruit drilled a number of deep threes and showed off a smooth pull-up going to his left. On the down side though, he didn’t score a single bucket from the post the entire game, something that’s definitely going to change once he steps foot at UK. All in all, it was a legit showing by one of the most heralded prep players in the country.
Jabari Parker, 6-6, SF/PF, Simeon, 2013
The son of former Chicago star Sonny Parker ando one of the best players of the sophomore class nationally showed out at Chicago State. After playing all five positions last season, Parker played a point forward role for Simeon and exploited whoever was guarding him with his versatile game. He appeared much slimmer out on the floor, made good decisions with the rock in the open court, and rebounded the ball well for Simeon. With game like that, chances are that we’ll see him following in his father’s footsteps.
Markee Williams, 5-10, PG, Morgan Park, 2013
Williams isn’t a guy that is going to necessarily blow you away by getting 30 points or dropping 15 assists, but is the type of guy who is going to straight get you W’s. The lefty is fearless going to the cup, showed off a nice pull-up J, and played tenacious defense. He went down with what looked to be a pretty serious injury early in the game but showed his toughness and made a return to the court. Markee also did something which virtually no other freshman in Chicago has done by leading his team to a city championship as just a freshman. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on.
Montero Rice, 6-1, SG, TF North, 2011
The lefty shooting guard straight gets buckets. It’s unbelievable to me that he doesn’t have 10 plus offers on me right now and that seems to be the consensus amongst most high school hoops insiders in Chicago. Rice can get all the way to the cup, shoot it from beyond the arc, or use his long arms to put the clamps on you on the defensive end. He was so impressive in fact, that I personally started texting mid-majors saying that they needed to jump all over him midway through the game. Yeah…dude is nice.
Bernard Brame, 6-7, PF/C, Thornton, 2011
Every team needs a guy who is willing to run the floor, crash the glass, and be an imposing figure on the defensive end. If you’re a mid-major college, Brame is that dude for you. He throw together a massive wingspan with a good body and the ability to step out and shoot the 18 footer. If he keeps playing like this all season long, mid-majors may not even have a shot.
Rodger Bohn is the former Director of Prep Scouting for DraftExpress.com