By Joe Henricksen
As the City/Suburban Hoops Report begins putting together its preseason Top 25 for its first issue due out in November, St. Patrick was a lock to be in that top 25. In fact, coach Mike Bailey’s team may have been a top 15 team with the talent that was returning. But the sudden loss of star sophomore Jacob Williams, who has left the northwest side private school, will change that.
Williams, who is ranked the No. 6 sophomore in the state in the most recent Hoops Report player rankings after an eye-opening spring and summer on the AAU circuit and playing for St. Pat’s, is no longer part of the program or enrolled at the school. The 6-6 versatile wing was attracting college coaches by the waves, with Ohio State, Purdue and Illinois among the many showing the most interest. Ohio State, in fact, was just in the gym watching Williams this past Monday.
St. Patrick was expected to be one of the favorites in the East Suburban Catholic Conference this season. St. Pat’s returned the backcourt combination of Tim Traversa and Bryant Smith, along with rising sophomores Williams and 6-5 Kourtney Darby.
The next step for Williams remains up in the air, along with his eligibility for this upcoming season after moving schools as details about his departure from St. Pat’s needs to be cleared up. The West Side native could perhaps land in the Chicago Public League, where both Crane and Foreman have been mentioned.