Unlike some members of the Chicago Sun-Times All-State team, Bloom senior Dante Maddox Jr. did not have his season cut short by coronavirus concerns.
The Blazing Trojans lost in the sectional semifinals to Marian Catholic. It was a shocker. Bloom had beaten the Spartans soundly in two games earlier in the season.
That wasn’t the way things were supposed to end for Maddox and his team. They were ranked No. 1 in the preseason and planned to win a state title for Chicago Heights.
“If we are being honest our season was a little bit disappointing because of all the expectations and hype that came with Bloom this year,” Maddox Jr. said. “I’ve come to peace with how it went now.”
The ache for a state title never fully leaves, but Maddox Jr. says he’s taking solace in the fact that his team helped reinvigorate south suburban high school basketball.
“We made an impact on the community,” Maddox Jr. said. “That will be our legacy. It was something no team in our area had done in a long time. We had sold out crowds and just changed everyone’s outlook. We brought that back. There is no doubt about it.”
Maddox Jr. didn’t achieve the team goals he dreamed of, but his individual season was spectacular. The Cal State Fullerton recruit averaged 17.5 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. He shot 54 percent from the field and 48 percent from three-point ranges.
Take a look at those shooting percentages and imagine the numbers Maddox Jr. could have posted if he ever managed to get 20 shots a game.
“My goal was to do whatever it took to win,” Maddox Jr. said. “I knew over the summer that I would take my game to another level this season. I put the work in.”
Maddox and his family are, like everyone else, forced to spend the majority of time inside now, waiting to see what develops with the coronavirus. The break comes at a good time for him.
“I have not touched a basketball since last Tuesday,” Maddox said. “I’m getting a lot of rest. I’m just trying to get my body right. The season took a toll on me. I’m going to take some time off and then get back to it hard. I know college is a whole different level.”
Maddox is joined on the Class 4A All-State team by Sun-Times Player of the Year DJ Steward of Young, Rolling Meadows’ junior Max Christie, Ramean Hinton of Curie, Dominic Martinelli of Glenbrook South and Collinsville’s Ray’Sean Taylor.
Player, School, Position, Height, Year
Max Christie, Rolling Meadows, G, 6-6, Jr.
Ramean Hinton, Curie, F, 6-4, Sr.
Dominic Martinelli, Glenbrook South, Sr. 6-5 G
DJ Steward, Young, G, 6-3, Sr.
Ray’Sean Taylor, Collinsville, G, 6-1, Sr.
Darius Burford, Bolingbrook, G, 6-1, Sr.
Kam Craft, Buffalo Grove, G, 6-5, So.
Dante Maddox Jr., Bloom, G, 6-2, Sr.
Ahron Ulis, Marian Catholic, G, 6-2, Sr.
DJ Williams, Thornton, F, 6-3, Sr.
Troy D’Amico, Notre Dame, G, 6-5, Jr.
Bryce Hopkins, Fenwick, F, 6-6, Jr.
Jaylin McCants, Galesburg, F, 6-6, Sr.
Adam Miller, Morgan Park, G, 6-4, Sr.
Isaiah Rivera, Geneseo, F, 6-5, Sr.
Antione Bloxton, Bogan, G, 6-1, Sr.
AJ Casey, Tinley Park, F, 6-8, So.
Grant Coleman, Mahomet-Seymour, F, 6-7, Sr.
Jackson Connor, Marion, F, 6-6, Sr.
Connor Kochera, St. Viator, G, 6-5, Sr.
Devon House, Sterling Newman, F, 6-7, Sr.
Keyon Joiner, Phillips, G, 6-2, Sr.
Jalen Quinn, Tuscola, G, 6-3 So.
Drew Reifsteck, Bismarck-Henning, G, 5-10, Sr.
Demarius Spunge, Orr, F, 6-6, Sr.
Drake Hammel, West Hancock, G, 6-5, Sr.
Robert Hobbs, Crane, G, 6-4, Sr.
Matt Owens, Timothy Christian, G, 5-10, Sr.
Dawson Yates, Pinckneyville, G, 6-2, Sr.
Caleb Zurliene, Breese Mater Dei, F, 6-6, Sr.
Taaj Davis, Aurora Christian, G, 6-1, Sr.
Connor Heaton, Moweaqua Central A&M, G, 6-5, Sr.
Cooper Larsen, Indian Creek, F, 6-4, Sr.
Coltin Quagliano, Kewanee Wethersfield, G, 6-0, Jr.
Donovan Taylor, Fenger, G, 6-5, Sr.
Kendale Anderson, Leo, C, 6-7, Sr.
Luke Braman, Roanoke-Benton, F, 6-8, Jr.
Trent Glidewell, Goreville, C, 6-5, Sr.
Blake McKay, Woodlawn, G, 6-3, Sr.
Micah Schnyders, Yorkville Christian, G, 6-4, Sr.