When practices begin Nov. 10, the Larkin basketball team that finished summer play strong will have two potentially solid additions in the form of transfers who had once been in the program.
Juwan Stewart, a 6-4 senior forward who averaged 6.1 points and 3.4 rebounds for Dundee-Crown last year, has transferred back to Larkin this year after two years as a Charger. Also returning after a year away from Larkin at a private school is 6-5 senior pivot player Daniel McFadden.
“We didn’t have them in the summer, but one good thing is they’re both familiar with a lot of the kids we have on the team, so it’s not like they’re coming in here from out of state or something,” coach Deryn Carter said. “They’ve both got a chance to help us, but they’re definitely going to have to earn their time.”
Behind sophomore Christian Negron, who has had scholarship offers from Bradley and DePaul, Larkin won the title at the Geneva Summer League and finished second to Buffalo Grove in the Crystal Lake South Shootout.
The Royals will need to be at full strength immediately this season because they’ve switched from the Woodstock Thanksgiving tournament to a tournament that will pit them against Rockford Auburn, the sectional champion team they never got to face last year after Larkin was upset in the regional by South Elgin.
The Rockford Tip-Off Classic will run Nov. 24-29 and be hosted by Rockford Auburn and Rockford East.
Larkin opens with a Nov. 24 game at 8 p.m. with Rockford East. The final game of the tourney on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. is the Larkin-Auburn matchup.
“It will be quite the challenge for a fourth game,” Carter said. “It’s too bad it’s in November and not last March.
“This is their first year of doing this. They contacted us pretty early on in the process and locked us in. “
Proviso West, Milwaukee Vincent, Indianapolis Pike and Julian are among the teams in the field.
Storm’s Smith gets offer
South Elgin junior guard Matt Smith has received his first college offer and others could be on the way.
He visited Central Michigan last weekend during their homecoming and received a scholarship offer from the school. Central Michigan coach Keno Davis twice has been to South Elgin to watch Smith.
Loyola, Wright State and South Dakota State have looked at the 5-11 guard, who averaged 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the sectional finalists last year. Also, Bucknell and Central Arkansas are expected to make a visit to see Smith.
“He’s not the tallest, but he can hit the perimeter shot at a good rate and that’s something they all say they like, to go with his explosiveness in the open court,” coach Matt Petersen said. “And he has a lot of intangibles that interest them in a point guard, like his maturity and leadership skills.”
Harvest names Cork
Elgin Community College assistant coach Scott Cork has been named by athletic director David Lockwood as the new basketball coach at Harvest Christian, replacing Jeff Boldog.
Cork founded the Vipers AAU club and has coached the Junior Royals and Junior Hilltoppers programs. A former football and basketball player at Larkin, Cork also served as a high school and college basketball official.
ECC hosts jamboree
The annual Elgin Community College men’s basketball jamboree will be held Sunday on three courts at ECC’s field house, featuring 18 different junior colleges playing three games apiece.
ECC plays at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission is $5.