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AJ Casey will leave Simeon for Tinley Park

The best freshman basketball player in the state is transferring from the Public League powerhouse.

Brother Rice’s Marquise Kennedy (24) tries to put a shoot up over Simeon’s AJ Casey Jr. (23),
Brother Rice’s Marquise Kennedy (24) tries to put a shoot up over Simeon’s AJ Casey Jr. (23),
Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times

AJ Casey, the top freshman in the state, is leaving Simeon for Tinley Park.

The 6-9 Casey, who is among the top players in the nation in the Class of 2022, helped lead the Wolverines to a sectional title last season. He scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer to beat Brother Rice in the regional championship game.

Casey will be leaving what is arguably the most tradition-rich program in the state for a Titans team that went 14-11 overall and 6-7 in the South Suburban Blue last season. Tinley Park’s last regional championship came in 2008.

‘‘There isn’t a whole lot to it, and it’s nothing serious in terms of anything to do with Simeon,’’ Casey’s father, Andre, told the Sun-Times on Saturday. ‘‘But he’s going to be living with his mother in Tinley Park.’’

Casey’s father said his son will finish this school year at Simeon, then attend Tinley Park next school year.

Casey instantly puts the Titans on the high school basketball map. Blessed with a combination of size and skill, he is already on the radar of high-major college programs across the country. He has been a part of USA Basketball for the last year.