Kenwood’s Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames (4) drives the ball past Young’s Damajay Richardson.

Kenwood’s Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames (4) drives the ball past Young’s Damajay Richardson.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

2023 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area basketball team

The 20 best players in the Chicago area for the 2022-23 high school basketball season.

Niko Abusara, Benet

Niko Abusara, Benet

Provided

Niko Abusara, Benet, 6-5, G, Sr.

Dartmouth recruit. Teamed with Johns Hopkins recruit Brayden Fagbemi and Brady Kunka to led Redwings to an undefeated run in the East Suburban Catholic and 32-1 record heading into the Class 4A sectional final. Shot 50% from the field while averaging 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals. All-Tournament at Pontiac.


Darrin Ames, Kenwood

Darrin Ames, Kenwood

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames, Kenwood, 6-2, G, Sr.

Kansas State recruit. Two-time All-Area selection. All-City first team. Led Kenwood to its first Red-South/Central title. Set a Proviso West Holiday Tournament single-game record with 65 points, scored more than 1,500 in a career cut short by the COVID season. Averaged 21.4 points, 4.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals.


Darrion Baker, Hillcrest

Darrion Baker, Hillcrest

Provided

Darrion Baker, Hillcrest, 6-8, C, Sr.

Akron recruit. Teamed with guard Bryce Tillery to lead Hillcrest to the South Suburban Blue championship and a 28-3 record heading into the Class 3A sectional final. Averaged 147. 7 points, 6.7 rebounds


Jurrell Baldwin, Hyde Park

Jurrell Baldwin, Hyde Park

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Jurrell Baldwin, Hyde Park, 6-6, F, Jr.

One of the season’s breakout stars. All-City second team. Combined with Camron Williford and Damarion Morris to lead the Thunderbirds to a third place finish in the powerful Red-South/Central, including an upset of rival Kenwood. Averaged 19 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks.


Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows

Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows, 6-6, G, Sr.

Minnesota recruit. Two-time All-Area selection. Averaged 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Made a school recored 101 three-pointers and shot 88% from the free-throw line. Second leading scorer in school history behind his brother Max. Led the Mustangs to an undefeated season in the Mid-Suburban League East and a 27-7 record.


Mekhi Cooper, Bolingbrook

Mekhi Cooper, Bolingbrook

Provided

Mekhi Cooper, Bolingbrook, 6-1, G, Sr.

Miami (Ohio) recruit. Dynamic, unselfish lead guard that was a varsity force for several seasons. Averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.1 steals. Led the Raiders to a 25-8 record and an undefeated season in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.


DeAndre Craig, Mount Carmel

DeAndre Craig, Mount Carmel

Provided

DeAndre Craig, Mount Carmel, 6-1, G, Sr.

Denver recruit. Two-time All-Area selection. All-City first team. Spearheaded the Caravan’s recent basketball revival. Averaged 18 points, 6 assists and 2 steals while leading Mount Carmel to a 27-6 record heading into the Class 3A sectional final.


Jeremy Fears Jr., Joliet West

Jeremy Fears Jr., Joliet West

Provided

Jeremy Fears Jr., Joliet West, 6-2, G, Sr.

Michigan State recruit. Sun-Times Player of the Year. McDonald’s All-American. Won two gold medals with USA Basketball. Led the Tigers to a 28-5 record heading into the Class 4A sectional final. Averaged 19.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 46% from the field and 35% from three and 81% from the free-throw line.


Jake Fiegen, New Trier

Jake Fiegen, New Trier

Provided

Jake Fiegen, New Trier, 6-3, G, Sr.

Cornell recruit. Averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting 68% on two-point field goals and 40% on threes. First New Trier player to score more than 1,000 career points in 11 years. All-Tournament at Pontiac, three-time CSL South All-Conference.


Jalen Griffith, Simeon

Jalen Griffith, Simeon

Allen Cunningham

Jalen Griffith, Simeon, 5-10, G, Sr.

Jacksonville recruit. A rare four-year varsity player for Simeon coach Robert Smith. Won the prestigious AC Williamson award at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Led the top-ranked Wolverines to the city championship and a 29-3 record heading into the Class 3A sectional finals.


Ahmad Henderson, Brother Rice

Ahmad Henderson, Brother Rice

Provided

Ahmad Henderson, Brother Rice, 5-10, G, Sr.

Niagara recruit. Two-time All-Area. All-City first team. One of the area’s most dominant, game-winning guard the past two seasons. Averaged 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds while lead the Crusaders to a 30-4 record heading into the Class 4A sectional final.


Daniel Johnson, Young

Daniel Johnson, Young

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Daniel Johnson, Young, 6-7, F, Sr.

Uncommitted. All-City second team. Most Valuable Player at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament where he led the Dolphins to the title. Averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds and three assists. Combined with Princeton recruit Dalen Davis to help Young to second place in Class 4A last season and a 23-7 finish this year.


Morez Johnson, St. Rita

Morez Johnson, St. Rita

Provided

Morez Johnson, St. Rita, 6-9, F, Jr.

Illinois recruit. One of the state’s truly dominant players. Averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Joined with North Carolina recruit James Brown and Iowa State recruit Nojus Indrisaitis to led the Mustangs to the Catholic League Blue championship and a 23-11 season.


Mekhi Lowery, Oswego East

Mekhi Lowery, Oswego East

Provided

Mekhi Lowery, Oswego East, 6-7, F, Sr.

Towson recruit. Capable of producing inside and outside. Averaged 12.7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block while leading the Wolves to an undefeated, championship season in the Southwest Suburban Prairie and a 28-5 record heading into the Class 4A sectional finals.


Connor May, Palatine

Connor May, Palatine

Provided

Connor May, Palatine, 6-7, G, Jr.

Uncommitted. Led Palatine to the Mid-Suburban League championship with a stunning victory at Rolling Meadows. Averaged 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.4 steals. One of the few players in the area to post multiple 30-point games.


Ben Oosterbaan, Hinsdale Central

Ben Oosterbaan, Hinsdale Central

Provided

Ben Oosterbaan, Hinsdale Central, 6-6, G, Sr.

Michigan baseball recruit. Shattered Brian Wardle’s single-season scoring record with more than 650 points. Averaged 20.3 points, 6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals while lead the Red Devils to the West Suburban championship and a 31-3 record heading into the Class 4A sectional finals.


Miles Rubin, Simeon

Miles Rubin, Simeon

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Miles Rubin, Simeon, 6-10, F, Sr.

Loyola recruit. Led the top-ranked Wolverines to the city championship and a 29-3 record heading into the Class 3A sectional finals. One of the area’s most dominant defensive big men in recent memory.


Drew Scharnowski, Burlington Central

Drew Scharnowski, Burlington Central

Provided

Drew Scharnowski, Burlington Central, 6-9, F, Sr.

Belmont recruit. The key force during Burlington Central’s impressive two-season run. Led the Rockets to the Fox Valley Conference title and a 29-5 record heading into the Class 3A sectional finals. Averaged 23.5 points, 8. 1rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 blocks.


Asa Thomas, Lake Forest

Asa Thomas, Lake Forest

Provided

Asa Thomas, Lake Forest, 6-7, G, Sr.

Clemson recruit. Averaged 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1 steal. Shot 52% from the field and made 80 threes. Led the Scouts to a 23-10 record heading into the Class 3A sectional finals.


Luke Williams, Naperville North

Luke Williams, Naperville North

Provided

Luke Williams, Naperville North, 6-1, G, Jr.

Uncommitted. Well-known football star had a breakout basketball season and was named the DuPage Valley Player of the Year. Scored more than 30 points three times. Averaged 20.9 points, 4.2 rebounds. 3.1 steals and 2.4 assists. Shot 50% from the field.


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