Smile Politely

Assembly Hall Shootout This Saturday

The Assembly Hall may no longer be the home of the IHSA boys’ state basketball tourney (a distinction now held by the Peoria Civic Center), but that doesn’t mean locals must do without a glimpse of high-school hoops under the dome.

This Saturday, Dec. 15, the Assembly Hall hosts the Shootout at the Hall, an all-day event boasting seven high-school boys’ games. The local triumvirate — Urbana High, Champaign Centennial and Champaign Central — are represented along with a group of schools from the Chicago and Peoria areas. The nightcap belongs to the smaller schools, as Unity faces Cissna Park/Crescent-Iroquois (CPCI).

Of particular note at this year’s Shootout are four future Illini (knock on wood), all of whom have offered a verbal commitment to Bruce Weber’s program: Brandon Paul (Warren Township), D.J. Richardson (Peoria Central) and Joseph Bertrand (Sterling) from the class of 2009; and Waukegan’s elite prospect Jereme Richmond (pictured) from the class of 2010.

Also suiting up will be a trio of recruits — Anthony Young, Chris Colvin and Jeff Jordan’s younger brother Marcus — from Whitney Young that Weber is targeting. Still more Illini ties can be had: Former Illini guard Luther Head’s little brother Crandall plays for Rich South and is yet another recruit rumored to be close to pledging allegiance to the Orange and Blue. Another player worth a look is Champaign Central senior guard Verdell Jones III, who at a slight 6-foot-4 has garnered attention from several Division-I schools, including Kansas and Minnesota.

Children and students get in for $5, while adults can choose between $10 seats in Sections A, B or C, or $15 floor seats. All tickets are general admission.

The schedule for the day follows:

10:30 a.m. — Urbana vs. Mt. Zion
12:15 p.m. — Peoria Central vs. Sterling
2:00 p.m. — Rich South vs. Champaign Centennial
3:45 p.m. — New Trier vs. Warren
5:30 p.m. — Peoria Manual vs. Waukegan
7:15 p.m. — Champaign Central vs. Whitney Young
9:00 p.m. — Unity vs. CPCI

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Assembly Hall’s web site.

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