News & Notes
This weekend we saw a lot of good basketball, players stood out, teams stood out, many new up and coming players show cased there talents and the gym atmosphere was buzzing. Evanston showed that not only is their high school good and talented, the well is not dry as young prospects 2024 Adrian Jones, Brandon Watson and Yaris Irby were a handful and gave perennial power Ariel 7th Grade a loss that had the gym buzzing. 2023 Jamie Hodges fresh off his ” Top Prospect Showcase Fall 2018 MVP” that he needs to be acknowledged as one of those dudes as he shread # 1 Ariel for 41 and put on a show that had every high school coach in the gym texting and calling me all night, when I say young fella ” Put On A Show” that’s an understatement. Prairie Hills 7th. proved they are a heavy hitter and have a legit shot to get down state and make some noise. Ariel 8th did what they have done all year ” WIN WIN WIN!!! The Battle Of The Titans looks to be very loaded and while Ariel is the favorite, there are a lot of contenders who have a shot.
Players Who Will Be Moving Up Or Added To Updated Rankings Being Released Christmas Day.
2023 Jamie Hodges
2024 Demario Eddins Jr.
2023 Darrin Ames Jr.
2023 Donovan Younger
2024 Nazir Duncan
2024 Oscar Johnson
2023 Lavarius Bracey
2023 Michael Ratcliff
2024 Germaine Benson
2025 Elijah Embrey
2023 Brye Coleman
2024 Damien Bolden
2023 Xavier Sulaiman
2023 Jeremy Harrington
2025 Lorenzo Shields
2023 Cordy Johnson
2024 Mason Minor
2023 Terrell Craig
2024 James Brown
2025 Rashaad Wilson Jr.
2023 Rodney McCray
2023 Robert Showalter
2025 Terry Ricks
2023 Latravion Watts
Top 20 Middle School Power Rankings
Kipp Big 3 waa on full display today as they came back from 10 down in second have to win by double figures Are they the best Big 3. look for them to hold their own in the Battle Of The Titans Jan 12/13 where many of the top teams in the city will be in attendance.
1. Ariel- The team is running on all cylinders. 3 Championships in 3 weeks, Maybe a team from Indiana will give them a run in City/Suburban State v State Dec. 8th. the super pg match-up of Jalen Griffith v Jamie Hodges is worth the price of admission
2. Springfield-Grant- the team is looking starting to round into state favorites like we thought they would.
3. Colin Powell (Matteson)- We want Colin Powell in Battle Of The Titans. People need to see them against the best, they are definitely one of the top teams. Call Me Colin Powell
4. Parker(Floosmore)- After an early loss to Colin Powell, the group looks like its rolling along, in a game thsi week against top 20 Prairie Hills, this group made it look easy Darrin(Dai Dai) Ames Jr. put on a show scoring 25 pts through 3 quarters, knocking down the 3, slicing his way thru traffic and looking like he ready to re-emerge as elite in his class. The battle to get downstate will be very interesting.
5. Jane Adams(Bolingbrook) The group looks good, Sectionals will be very interesting this year
6. Beasley(Chicago) – Coach Giles is doing one of his best coaching jobs, he has his team in position to succeed, they just keep rolling.
7. Kipp(Chicago) Talk about in your face gritty and grimy. This is the year the lil squad who has been playing together for years emerges as one of the elite in the city. Make no mistake about it Terrell Craig, Darrion Towns & Arrion Bagley form a trio that works well together. after trailing at half by 10 against Bellwood Roosevelt, the group came out and showed why they are Top 10 with the win in a hostile enviornment.
8. Hufford- Joliet making it look easy right now, Is there a better leader in Middle School than Jeremy Fears?
9. Troy (Joliet) The group has talent and size, lost a tough one to Hufford, but look for them to bounce back as the season progress. Big man Jeremy Harrington is the most polished big in the state right now!!
10. South Loop- The team is progressing as the season progresses, they play in spurts, they can look great or they can average at times.
11. Yorkville- They have some pieces and will be a tough out by the time state comes. Jerl Allen has quite an upside.
12. Urbana Middle School- The perennial powerhouse, who seems to have a seat in the states Elite 8 every year, winning thrilling games has the young star pg Kylan Boswell who is very capable of putting his team on his back, don’t sleep.
13. Lindop(Broadview)- They have a 1-2 punch in Katrell & Emory that will give teams problems, both are capable of going for 30 at any given time.
14. Brooks(Oak Park)- Went 1 and 1 against rival Julian, losing a nail biter and winning by double figures. District Championship should be interesting
15. Roosevelt( Bellwood)- The group plays together and has a stud versatile Bryce Coleman who is steadily showing his skill set a shows a good upside, the group will be in the Battle Of The Titans to play against the best Jan 12th.
16. Julian( Oak Park)- A big peace is missing right now due to injury, they are still a good team and now they will need to trust each other even more.
17. Prairie Hills( Country Club Hills) Big weekend coming up Friday Against Ariel @ home. Saturday @ City/ Suburban Shootout- Collins will tell us a lot.
18. McClure(Willow Springs) –This team is always solid and well coached, no different this year.
19. Sumner(Chicago)- Fiesty and fast. CJ is the best scorer in the City and giving people fits, capable of scoring 40 every night.
20St Malachi, Sutherland, Howe, Kankakee- on any given night can beat several teams ahead.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Well the Basketball Season kicked off this past week and boy oh boy did it start off with a bang, many games came down to the wire, some new names emerging as hot prospects, some old top prospects solidifying they are still ” Them dudes’ some new teams who have surfaced as teams to watch and on and on. Jalen Griffith put on a show in front of 25 plus high school coaches and AAU coaches, I mean he showed off the range knocking down his first 3 long range bombs, he man handled defenses off the dribble as he was unguardable and he did his usual job of making everyone around him better he now has a back-court mate with him that’s ready to let the City know his stock is rising and he can play with anyone, Michael Ratcliff is a kid who stock is rising and a player who make a drastic climbing in our updated rankings as he can knock it down from deep, finish in traffic and his frame lets him guard multiple positions. This Guard DUO has Ariel ranked pretty high when our initial rankings come out as the team ran through the Jr Hoops Elite Tip-Off. People are definitely going to hearing about scorer Deluxe Cordy Johnson (CJ) as known to many was a one man wrecking crew beating Beasley and then stunning Top 20 Julian 42-40. in which young fella had 36 of the 42 points. Young Fella has been giving everyone 30 for awhile and is another prospect who will be moving up in our updated rankings and people are starting to see what we been said about Jeremy Fears & Sam Lewis. Friday Night we witnessed Jeremy Fears play every position and basically have his hands in 85 percent of his teams(Hufford Middle School) scoring either doing it himself scoring 35 or dishing the assist. he then went on to lead his undermanned team to a championship over one of the states best teams in which we thought would have never been able to occur based on talent of team and size, yep we say it again young fella has an upside. There is a prospect at Julian( Oak Park) named Sam Lewis who we have been raving about for sometime now, yep people are sleep because he doesn’t play on heavy hitter AAU team well let me tell ya, if you on one of those teams be lucky he not because ” Your spot would be gone!!!” yes young fella showed flashes of skill but left a lot on the table, people will see soon. Rodney Murphy is an athletic wing, who definitely has been a player we noticed last year but didn’t know which class he was in because he was playing up. Well somebody will be dropping out of the updated rankings as young fella make his way in the update. Colin Powell made a statement this past week blowing out Top 20 Parker and will definitely be pretty high in team rankings when they are released this week. South Loop showed that the future is bright as their 5/6 grade won the Tip -Off over Areil 5/6 in a tough game that went back and forth and had an atmosphere that was off the chain. Noah Mister 2026 was named MVP going for 17 and 5 assist in Championship Game.
All Tournament Team 5th/6th
Noah Mister- South Loop(MVP),
Charles Barnes- South Loop,
Amari Edwards- Ariel
Lorenzo Shield – Ariel
Terry Ricks – Legacy
All Tournament Team 7/8th
Jalen Griffith (Ariel) -MVP
Cordy Johnson ( Sumner)
Michael Ratcliff ( Ariel)
Rodney McCray ( Julian)
Elijah Salmom ( South Loop)
Star Of The Week
Jeremiah Fears 2025- Playing as the only 6th grader in tournament, young fella was spectacular scoring 14 in his opening game hitting 4- 3 point shots from long range then followed that up by scoring 33 in the Semi’s and 27 points in the Championship over a States Top 10 team, who bolds a roster of talented players including Top 15 player in class of 2023 Jeremy Harrington. The thing is there have been plenty of kids who play up a year and contribute, but young fella plays up two years and shows no signs of fear or hesitation when he plays, talk about ” heart” he has that special want to in his game. Game winning shot or up twenty makes no difference he letting it go with the confidence that ” He belongs” and boy did he prove that this past weekend, in a playoff like atmosphere with the whole community looking on, rivals of the same city playing for bragging rights. It was the youngest player in the gym who shined the brightest as Hufford Middle School shocked the State beating Powerhouse Troy Middle School in the game of David vs Goliath. Lil Jeremiah Fears cemented his name and legend as he averaged 30 in the final 4 in a game that people will be talking about for the ages. Yep Jeremiah Fears our current number 3 player in the class looks to move up in the updated rankings when they are released stay tuned.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
South Loop – The group looks pretty good and well rounded, having all the elements of a team who is capable of capturing several championships this season and with a blend versatile talent. Congrats to South Loop On Championship
Middle School Team Rankings Coming 11/8
Jr Hoops Elite Would like To Congratulate USA Invitees Who Are Former Standouts Who Were Noticed Here At An Early Age. Below Is what we said before anyone ever had them on the big stage.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. The Current Number 1 Player In The Nation(ESPN)
Promising Prospect # 29
When I see a player like this he makes me shake my head and say “WOW!!!” I’ve been around many players, high level college and N.B.A. whom I’ve seen when they were in Middle School and it’s hard to remember one being as polished at this stage as young Patrick Baldwin Jr. Here is a 6ft 5 plus wing that has incredible talent. He does so many things that college players are doing now. I’ve witnessed young fella play in the mid-post like a pro, reverse pivot step back off the glass bucket!!! MJ STYLE, curl the screen, catch and shoot from 24ft. swish!!! looking like Klay Thompson. bringing the ball up the court on smaller defender he gets to his spot and raises over the player like “he’s a chair in a drill !!! Shaun Livingston, All I can think is this kid is so far ahead of everybody in his class with his skill set and understanding of the game he’s Next Level!!! When you look at Patrick it’s easy for me to imagine him putting up impressive stats in College at a high level in a few years. He is the one kid who has the size that equates to the position(sg/sf) he projects in College right now. While young fella has all the tools and skills, there are some who will mistake his skill set and poise and say he needs to get that “so called dog in him” too them I say “you are confused the kids usually being called the dog are more often than not the ones whose skill set is just that high motor, high energy, grit and grime”. It’s crazy how that is so misinterpreted. I tell people all the time ” you want the kid with the skill and game !!!” all that, he is a dog and plays hard-nose wears off quickly after middle school. Young Fella is “The Truth!!!” He has a sweet stroke and if there are 2 better shooters in his class I haven’t seen them, I’ve watched games where he knocked down 3 of 4 or 4 of 5 like they were free-throws and with his size and high release, it’s like the defenders were helpless. The thing that also impresses me about young fella is he is such a quality kid, he never comes off as the ” I’m a superstar kid” He is all about his teammates and he is always looking for ways to improve, spending countless hours in the gym. Add to that he is an honor roll student and does community service and you have one well rounded young man. Hey High School coach be ready to move somebody over, you have a 4 year starting wing coming in the door day 1 no need to play around he will be ready. Patrick Baldwin Jr. is JrhoopsElite #1 rated prospect in 2021 class, and we would like to acknowledge him as our Promising Prospect “Next Level” The Top Prospect Showcase is Feb 25th and we look forward to watching many of the top players in the Midwest.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Khalil Whitney – Another Kid who when we mentioned early in middle school people laughed and said he hasn’t played anywhere, Yep Well just as we suspected the young kid from the 60624, has evolved just like we thought A top 5 player in The Country( ESPN)and still has that same humble and hungry attitude. Congrats To one of the originals Jr Hoops Elite Prospects. We Love Ya Kid and Congratulations.
WHAT AN UPSIDE!!!
Promising Prospect # 12
Sometimes you see a kid and say “boy oh boy If I had him”. Well there is one kid walking around the Chicago’s Westside and he keeps me making that statement. His name is Khalil Whitney he is the 6/4 wing whom just recently graduated from Gregory Elementary. I have known Khalil and seen him play for more than 3 years. I have witnessed his progression through hard work and effort. Young fella is also one of the highest character kids you will find at his age and takes nothing for granted. I’ve witnessed Khalil dominate games going coast to coast and dunking over his opponents showing things on the floor that make your jaw drop, I’ve witnessed him struggle in games trying to show his versatility, but what surprises me the most is that he is the same kid no matter how he played. He shows a maturity that is well beyond his years and he is very humble. Here is a kid who is progressively getting better by leaps and bounds, he is also a gym rat and wants to learn. His size and athleticism already equate to someone high major colleges will be all over in the next few years. Not many kids combine the size, strength, athletic ability, will to get better and the genetic pool that Khalil possesses. When someone says a kid has Upside this is what they are talking about. Imagine him in a few years with a few more inches” “That’s Scary”, if that happens watch-out. Young fella has steadily been climbing the rankings ever since they were released last winter. Khalil Whitney is currently Jrhoopselite # 4 prospect of 2019 and he has the Upside and Potential to be the best when it’s all said and done. We look forward to seeing Khalil at the faboulus freshmen showcase Aug. 15th and monitoring him through-out high school career as we are formulating player profiles this coming spring for college coaches. Khalil Whitney “boy oh boy” WHAT AN UPSIDE!!!!!! You are Promising Prospect # 12.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Adam Miller ESPN Top 20 player In The Nation, Was first Noticed Here And Proclaimed Best Player In The State Here As a 7th entering 8th grader from a small town in Central Illinois. People said we were crazy. Well it doesn’t seem that way now. Congrats on The USA Camp Invite. One Of Jr Hoops Elites Personal Favorites As We Knew He Had That Something In him.
Promising Prospect # 21
“A STAR IS RISING”
There is a young player who is making quite a statement with his game over the past year and many need to get used to hearing how promising of a prospect young fella is. Adam Miller is showing that he clearly has established himself an elite prospect and seems to constantly be getting better and better A STAR IS RISING!!!!. This silky smooth guard has that “IT FACTOR” about him. He is the kid who takes the challenge of wanting to get better each and every time he steps on the court. A few months ago Adam came to the Top Prospect Showcase and put on a show, showing every imaginable skill and intangible. He was completely unstoppable and left JrhoopsElite # 1 prospect the class of 2020. Since then young fella has done nothing to dispel that, in fact he is creating more of a separation. A couple of weekends ago I witnessed young fella playing 15U with the Mac Irvin Fire at NY2LA and he played well, then this past weekend I watched young fella playing at the Toi Baylor tournament in Romeoville and not only did I watch young fella playing up in age play well, I saw him actually taking over for stretches in close games. His team down 1 in second half he nails a long three, then makes a steal and feeds the ultra- athletic combo guard Markeese Jacobs for a layup, on defense he grabs a long rebound, dribbles up court in which he splits defenders and riffles a no look cross court pass to big Spence Boeheim for a lay-in, then follows that up with a basket in traffic. Yep!! just like that an 8 point lead and the game never got any closer. I’ve been around a lot of young players and there is just something about young Adam that says special!! He lives in Peoria, Illinois and many in the State were not aware of just how good he is. That’s probably a good thing, he didn’t get all the attention early and it seems to have kept him hungry and even more determined. Being from the Central part of the State there are many players who do not get as much attention as some of the Chicagoland Area. Having said that young fella is making a case for JrhoopsElite to get down that way more often. Adam has represented himself quite well in all fashions. Having sat down and talked with young fella a couple of times he one class young man, who is humble and appreciative of everything he seems to take nothing for granted A STAR IS RISING!!!. I look forward to watching young Adam for years to come and would like to acknowledge him as a Promising Prospect.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Andre Casey Jr. Congrats To Our Number 1 rated player this past graduating class, Here Is what we said about him as a 7th grader, A respectful young kid who we think the world of and root for.
” A Problem Causer “
Somebody is walking around the Chicagoland Area, that is getting better and better by leaps and bounds. Drop Step Basket, Mid-Range Jump Shot Basket, On the break watch ya head a Power Dunk Basket, beat your man off the dribble Block Shot Against The Glass, uh oh young fella is “A Problem Causer” here is a kid whom people thought would be good in a few years just last year. Well everybody young fella is ahead of the curve and becoming dominant right now. While I tell people the little guards are always better at an very early age, they have the ball in their hands, they dribble in the basement and hone ball handling skills early, they are quicker at understanding their bodies they look more fluent and polished. The bigs do not have all the early luxuries, but boy do they have all the potential and upside. Introducing Andre Casey Jr a player who has taken his game from a support player who can protect the rim into a feature player who shows all the skills of a future All- State and Division 1 player. I witnessed young fella a couple of weeks ago score 20 plus several games in a row, showing explosiveness to the rim and knocking down the perimeter shot, then this past weekend in the Championship Game at Chicago Jam-Fest I witnessed young fella score 27 being physical and finishing through contact at the rim and consistently knocking down contested jump-shots under pressure in leading his team to the victory and earning MVP. Young Fella is impressive and what makes things even scarier is that “AJ” upside and potential are starting to surface, he is not done growing and still getting use to his body, along with getting better his game and skills are getting smoother. Young Fella is now taking one step and dunking it like kids 4 years his superior, add the fact that young fella is a great kid whom has always been respectable, polite and very coach-able and you now have the formula for something down the line that’s definitely “A Problem Causer” While Jrhoopselite has Andre Casey Jr. as our #2 rated prospect in the class of 2022 he is one of several who has a chance to be special down the line and a kid whom I get 5-10 calls per week inquiring about. We would like to acknowledge Andre Casey Jr. As our Promising Prospect #31 ” A Problem Causer”
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Aug. Stock Risers
” Them Dudes”
Those 3 kids- Definitely Stood out and showed they are among the elite in the class, all received votes for Top Prospect Showcase MVP. These players have a skill set and the talent that makes them prospects to keep a close eye on for sure and all will be in our updated Top 10 no doubt about it. Ashton is the lean combo guard that we first saw as back-up role player a couple of years ago and we said ” Coach He Is The One!!, What you Doing?” my oh my has he blossomed into an ultra elusive, slicing and dicing big guard who can see the floor, finish in traffic and make just about any offensive play needed at this level and would be one of the Top 5 kids in the class I would start my team with, Jamie is the hard to guard pg, who makes it look so easy at times and reminds us of a young ” Sherron Collins” one of Ricky Moore’s favorite and former McDonalds All-American and National Champ and Tevonta Jackson is one of those ultra smooth big guard/wing forward that puts you in the mind of a young Tracy McGrady at this level, he does whatever he wants and makes it look sooooo easy at times. These Young Men Are Definitely Some Players and The Future Looks Bright!!!
Kylan Boswell 2023- You tell me young fella wasn’t here to make a statement. I’ll say “YOU A LIE!!!” from the onset Kylan Boswell was at the Top Prospect Showcase to show he belonged in the conversation with the elite in the class and boy did he do that leaving as All Showcase First Team, young fella showed the ability to knock the jump-shot down from deep, (which we had known he could do as we were in attendance when he knocked down game winner in sectional championship earlier this year) create off the dribble and get in the paint whenever he wanted and as he always does he showed the ability to change speeds and keep his defender off balance and score with crafty shots. What we did not know was that young fella has that edge about him, Yep he has the competitors spirit where he wants to win and compete at everything he is fearless. While some others were ducking on defense and not trying to get crossed over or scored on young fella was on his man and in his man every-time and if he got scored on ” so what!!! he excepted the challenge everytime!!!” Currently our 29th rated player in the class, that’s surely to go up in our updated rankings being released in 2 weeks. Do me a favor and when mentioning elite guards in the class ” Do Not Forget The Kid From Central Illinois!!!!!! “
Kamarion Cobb 2023- Yes sirrrrrr!! I see another one of those kids who make me say “I want Him!!!” KJ as known to many is a player who plays at a different speed than most, he is a highly active wing who can get where he wants virtually on any defender, young fella was scoring at will for his team in a couple of games I watched. While we can see that most would be using young fella as a force down low because of his superior athleticism, current size, will power and over all dominance in the paint area. We see young fella as promising power slashing big guard, who can give opposing defenses nightmares. Young Fella scored in bunches at the Top Prospect Showcase in route to earning All-Showcase First Team, but what makes us so excited is we see the potential of what young fella can be. We will be keeping a close tab on KJ and young fella will be making his debut in the updated rankings rather high when they are released in 2 weeks as young fella is one of our Stock Risers.
Over the past two weekends JrHoopsElite has seen many prospects in tournaments and we hosted our Annual Twice A Year ” Top Prospect Showcase” and boy was it fun, we saw a lot of talent from the Young Player Showcase- Fabulous Fresh/ Super Sophs, We would like to Thank everyone involved.
“Game Recognize Game”
Lamont Hamilton 2026- Yes Indeed!!!! make no mistake about it, we have one of those young prospects who we figure to be talking about for years to come. The attacking pg who is virtually unstoppable at getting where he wants on the court Lamont Hamilton AKA ” Doodie” is a problem for opposing teams, We watched young fella shred teams last weekend in route to leading his team to the Jr Hoops Elite Nationals as he was M.V.P. of the 10U division. Young Fella showed every skill imaginable, he knocked the outside shot down a few times, he was slicing and dicing his way to the basket and spoon feeding his teammates, he showing the ability to lead, his vision and awareness was off the charts for his age as he was making length of the floor passes that kids 3 years his superior have a hard time making or even seeing for that matter and ” Nooooooobody Could Stay In Front Of Him Of The Dribble” Beware Racine Wisconsin Got “One Of Them Dudes”. Our class 2026 rankings do not come out until next year and as we see it right now young fella is right up there with the elite in the Midwest in his class no doubt about it. Young Fella plays with a swagger and a very competitive edge we look forward too monitoring ” Doodie for years to come, we also look forward to seeing young fella at the Young Player Showcase Aug 11th. where many of the talented players in the Midwest will be in attendance, I know young fella licking his chops right now.
Ricky Moore 773 383-0972
Jr Hoops Elite 2018 Nationals Champions