Transfer Ty Rodgers bolsters Thornton

Ty Rodgers, one of the top 100 senior prospects in the country and a target of high-major programs, enrolled at Thornton and is a monster addition to coach Tai Streets’ program.

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Ty Rodgers playing with Meanstreets.

Ty Rodgers playing with Meanstreets.

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On one hand it still always feels a little sad to talk high school basketball transfers all the time and even more unsavory that it’s simply become the norm. 

But with all the player movement in high school basketball these days –– and the state of Illinois losing its share of top-flight prospects –– it was kind of refreshing to see a bonafide prep star transfer to Thornton last week.

Ty Rodgers, who is one of the top 100 senior prospects in the country and a target of high-major programs, enrolled at Thornton and is a monster addition to coach Tai Streets’ program. 

Rodgers has moved with his family into the Thornton school district. 

After leading Grand Blanc High School to its first state championship last season in Michigan, the 6-6 forward was named the state’s AP Division 1 Player of the Year. He averaged 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals as a junior. 

There is a clear connection: Rodgers played this past spring and summer for Streets and his Meanstreets club basketball team on the Nike EYBL circuit. Thus, Streets is familiar with his new star player.

“He’s just a winner,” said Streets. “He’s always won and is such a great kid. He plays super, super hard and is a throwback who competes on every possession.”

Rodgers is a coveted uncommitted prospect. He has trimmed his list of schools to nine, including Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Xavier, Connecticut, Memphis, Rhode Island, Alabama and Marquette. 

At one time Michigan State was considered the favorite. Michigan and Alabama are front and center. Locally, Illinois has made a big push for the strong, athletic hybrid forward. Coach Brad Underwood was in to see Rodgers at his new digs in the south suburbs last week. Rodgers visited Illinois last month. 

Yes, he’s talented, but the favoritism of Rodgers among college coaches is also due to how he plays and goes about his business as a player. Rodgers is tough, rugged and brings a blue-collar approach with a high-running motor and unselfishness. 

While Rodgers needs to make considerable strides with his perimeter jumper and polish up his overall skill level, he’s a bruising, attacking finisher at the rim and is a proven winner. He rebounds and can defend multiple positions. And he provides plenty of highlight plays with his athleticism. 

Rodgers, who Rivals ranks No. 66 and 247Sports has at No. 54, immediately is one of the top three prospects in Illinois in the Class of 2022 and will make a push for the top spot. 

Thornton appeared to be in a bit of a rebuild as the 2021-22 season approached. However, the addition of Rodgers instantly makes the Wildcats one of the top teams in the south suburbs. 

Streets loses star Brandon Hall, who is now a freshman playing at East Tennessee State, and veteran guard Sean Burress, but he will surround Rodgers with 6-7 senior Kelsey Tarver, 6-1 senior guard Montreal McCullough and 5-11 junior shooter Vincent Rainey.

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