The Sun-Times All-Public League basketball team is especially deep this season. Most of the second-team players would have earned first team status in a normal year.
The squad is led by 6-9 junior phenom Jabari Parker. He is joined on the first team by his 6-8 teammate, Steve Taylor, a Marquette recruit. Narrowly missing out on first-team honors is another Simeon player, the electrifying Kendrick Nunn, who is on the second team.
“Jabari will get even better with time,” former Young coach George Stanton said. “He is still young and he is one of the most coachable kids I have ever been around. His parents have done a great job with him. I would have loved to coach him.”
Parker leads the city in scoring, edging out his best friend, Billy Garrett of Morgan Park, by less than a point, 27.3 to 26.6. Parker also averages eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Taylor averages 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
“It is a honor for all three to make the team,” Simeon coach Robert Smith said. “They all have special talents and blend very well together. With them its all about winning.”
Marshall’s Milton Doyle, a 6-4 guard, missed the 2010-11 season with a wrist injury and didn’t play much over the summer, but has had a tremendous year, leading the Commandos with 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks per game. He has signed with Florida International. His coach, Henry Cotton, said his upside is off the charts.
“I call him the quiet assassin,” Cotton said. “He just goes about his job relentlessly. If he had waited he could have gone anywhere he wanted to, but he was loyal to the people who showed him interest when no one else did. That’s the way he is.”
Farragut coach William Nelson is no stranger to coaching big men and he said 6-7 Rashaun Stimage rates right up with Farragut’s best. He averages 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
“He is another one of those guys that just keeps getting better and better,” Nelson said. “At first he was just a great defender, but now he has added the offense to his repertoire. He reminds me of a young Kevin Garnett with the things he can do to make other players better.”
When you talk about Curie the first person who comes to mind is 6-9 sophomore Cliff Alexander. But Curie coach Mike Oliver believes that the player most vital to the team’s success is 6-3 guard Devin Foster.
“He is the glue, the senior, team captain, he talks and they listen,” Oliver said. “He is a great kid, extremely coachable”
Foster averages 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
SUN-TIMES All-PUBLIC BASKETBALL SELECTIONS
Milton Doyle, MarshallG6-4Sr.
Devin Foster, CurieG6-3Sr.
Jabari Parker, SimeonF6-9Jr.
Rashaun Stimage, FarragutF6-7Jr.
Steve Taylor, SimeonC/F6-8Sr.
Cliff Alexander, CurieC6-9So.
Willie Conner, CraneG6-4Sr.
Billy Garrett, Morgan ParkG6-4Jr.
Kendrick Nunn, SimeonG6-2Jr.
Jahlil Okafor, YoungC6-11So.
Kyle Davis, Hyde ParkG6-0Jr.
Korbin McClain, MarshallG6-2Sr.
Marquise Pryor, OrrC6-7Jr.
Devonte Smith, BoganG/F6-4Sr.
Paul White, YoungG6-9 So.
Lavell Boyd, FarragutG5-9Sr.
Robert Hurd, VocationalG 5-10Sr.
Deonte Johnson, N. LawndaleG5-10Sr.
Devaughn Johnson, BoganG6-2Sr.
Erick Locke, BrooksG6-0So.
Honorable Mention: Dwight Cunningham, Brooks; Josh Cunningham, Morgan Park; Jamal McDowell, Orr: Jelani Neeley, Simeon; Tim Reamer, Taft; Devin Taylor, Julian; Dionte Terrell, Farragut; Demetrius Faulkner, Von Steuben; Michael Howell, Carver; Deonte Johnson, Harlan; Dontel Payne, Mather.