The state’s top-ranked prospect in the junior class, AJ Casey, is on the move.
The talented 6-8 forward who began his career at Simeon and played his sophomore season at Tinley Park is headed back to the Public League. Casey will attend Young this year.
Casey is among the top 20 prospects in the country in the Class of 2022.
Casey says his family has had its eye on moving to Chicago and finding the right school balance.
“We have actually been looking to move and have been looking for a house in the city for awhile,” said Casey. “We found a house and started thinking about schools and what would be best for me.”
Casey says there was some consideration given to attending a prep school for his final two years. His mom, however, wasn’t on board with that.
“My mom really wanted me to stay here and not go the prep school route,” said Casey. “So we wanted to find the best possible school here. Young is one of the best academic schools in the city and state. I’ve been an honor roll student so when looking at the academic side of things, I wanted to challenge myself even more.”
While it will be his third school in three years, Casey says he is excited about the opportunity at Young –– academically, culturally, socially and athletically.
“Young has so much of everything,” said Casey. “I have always done what I’m supposed to do in school. I make friends pretty easily and get along with people well.”
Casey is familiar with playing for a powerhouse basketball program. He played a small role as a freshman at Simeon, where he provided a put back basket at the buzzer to beat Brother Rice in overtime to win a Class 4A regional title. He finished with eight points and 11 rebounds in that regional title game.
He now joins another basketball power program at Young. While youthful and somewhat inexperienced, the Dolphins are expected to be among the top five teams in the state next season with Casey and the return of super sophomore guard Dalen Davis and promising 6-7 junior Xavier Amos.
A long, multi-faceted forward, Casey broke through with a monster sophomore campaign. He put up some whopping numbers, averaging 22 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.1 blocks at Tinley Park this past season. As one of the elite players in the country, Casey has also been a part of USA Basketball and is national recruit.
With a bevy of high-major offers, Casey will have his pick of big-time college programs to choose from. While he says he’s not close to making a decision, he says there are a few schools that have stood out in terms of recruiting him the hardest at this point.
“Michigan, Iowa State, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, DePaul and Gonzaga to name a few,” said Casey when asked what schools have been the most involved. “I’m still a long way from making any decision.”