The Chicago Elite Classic, the annual two-day event featuring top teams in Illinois and from throughout the country, has announced its field of teams and matchups.
A big change to this year’s Chicago Elite Classic, which will be Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1, will be the location. The event moves from the UIC Pavilion to the 10,000-plus seat Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s near South Side.
Here is a look at this year’s schedule and matchups.
(Games listed in the order they will be played. Times will be announced at a later date.)
Friday, Nov. 30
■ Young vs. Montverde Academy (Florida) • (girls basketball game)
Young’s girls basketball program is a Public League power and state heavyweight with 10 top four state finishes, including three state titles, since coach Corry Irvin took over the program in 2001.
Montverde’s girls program is coached by E.C. Hill, a Young graduate and one of the all-time greats in Illinois girls basketball history. Hill, who played in the WNBA, is an Illinois High School and Public League Hall of Fame inductee.
■ St. Rita vs. St. Ignatius
A couple of Chicago Catholic League teams go at it in an early-season tussle.
Coach Gary DeCesare has a bunch of size and a ton of experience returning from an 18-win team, including 6-7 Jeremiah Oden and the junior backcourt of Alec Millender and Joel Watts.
St. Ignatius will lean heavily on the backcourt of senior Christian Davis and 6-2 junior Daniel Florey.
■ Fenwick vs. Oak Park
This rivalry has become a staple of the Chicago Elite Classic’s opening night. A revamped Fenwick team, led by up-and-coming sophomore Bryce Hopkins and senior Solomon Oraegbu, will be the underdog.
Oak Park is stacked with talent, including seniors Dahon Enoch, Charlie Hoehne, Chase Robinson and Anthony Roberts.
Saturday, Dec. 1
■ Bloom vs. West Aurora
There are big expectations at Bloom this season with a boatload of returning talent, highlighted by a much-talked-about junior class featuring guards Keshawn Williams, Dante Maddox, Jr., Donovan Newby and big man Martice Mitchell.
Despite some heavy losses from a sectional championship team, West Aurora is primed to be a factor again with the backcourt of Traevon Brown and Curie transfer Marquise Walker.
■ Bloomington vs. Chaminade (St. Louis)
With athletic 6-7 Chris Payton, one of the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2019 in Illinois, and the addition of Rockton-Hononegah transfer Caleb Donaldson, a versatile 6-4 guard, Bloomington will once again be one of the top teams in central Illinois.
Chaminade, a Missouri power that recently produced NBA star Jayson Tatum, went 26-4 last year and lost in the Class 5 state championship game in Missouri last March.
■ Uplift vs. Evanston
Returning four starters from a team that reached Peoria and finished third in the state, Evanston will be a preseason top 10 team. Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Blake Peters form quite a trio on the perimeter.
High-major target Markese Jacobs, an exciting athletic lead guard and the state’s No. 2 prospect in the senior class, leads Uplift.
■ Huntington Prep vs. Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)
Sunrise Christian is loaded with high-major prospects. The most familiar is Malik Hall, who began his high school career at Metea Valley. The versatile 6-8 Hall is among the top 50 players in the country and is visiting Purdue, Oregon, Oklahoma and Michigan State in coming weeks.
Sunrise also features three other high-major seniors: 6-8 Tray Jackson, a Minnesota commit and top 100 prospect, guard Grant Sherfield, a UCLA commit, and Vanderbilt commit Austin Crowley. Throw in 6-10 N’Faly Dante, a 6-10 junior who is among the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2020, and there isn’t a team in the Classic with more talent.
Huntington Prep boasts a pair of talented juniors in 6-8 Jaemyn Brakefield, one of the top 25 prospects in the Class of 2020, and top 100 recruit, 6-2 guard A.J. Hoggard.
■ Morgan Park vs. Vashon (St. Louis)
This will be a dandy between two powers in their respective states that play fast and free. Vashon, a Missouri power, is led by high-major recruit Mario McKinney, a dynamic 6-1 senior guard, and 6-5 Cam’Ron Fletcher, a top 50 prospect in the junior class.
Morgan Park counters with the junior backcourt of Adam Miller, the state’s top prospect in the Class of 2020, and jet-quick Marcus Watson.
■ Bogan vs. Dominican (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.)
With a bevy of talent and depth, led by seniors Jeremiah Washington and 6-7 Rashaun Agee, Bogan figures to be a preseason top 10 team in November. Dominican is led by 2020 point guard Abe Scruggs, a Division I prospect.
■ Simeon vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)
The school that produced Lebron James heads to Chicago as the defending state champions in Ohio. SVSM captured its eighth state title a year ago –– a state record –– winning the Ohio Division II state championship under legendary coach Dru Joyce. Lunden McDay, a 6-1 point guard who is committed to Ohio, and Keyshawn Jones return from that state title team.
Simeon will be led by guard Kejuan Clements, 6-5 Antonio Reeves and guard Ahmad Bynum, a sophomore looking to make a splash.
■ Young vs. Mater Dei (California)
The final game of the event features two familiar names in high school basketball, including Young and its star trio of senior Myles Baker and juniors Tyler Beard and D.J. Steward.
Perennial power Mater Dei will be fueled by its young talent, including a pair of top 25 prospects in the Class of 2021 –– sophomore point guard Devin Askew and 6-8 Wilhelm Breidenbach.