Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Chicago Elite Classic

High School Lites Preview: Chicago Elite Classic

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school basketball games across Chicagoland on the first basketball edition of High School Lites.

It's the debut show for basketball on High School Lites this week as we transition to the hardwood for the rest of the season.

The first basketball edition of High School Lites has plenty of intriguing matchups, including the Chicago Elite Classic, which brings three great games to the UIC Pavilion.

This week also includes some conference and non-conference clashes and we get to know Curie shooting guard Elijah Joiner, as the defending 4A champion Condors face East St. Louis and Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon on Friday.

We'll have highlights of that one and plenty more on this week's show.

Niles North at No. 3 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Central Suburban South meet early in the season as Niles North (3-1) faces No. 3 Evanston (5-0). The Vikings fell to DePaul Prep but own three double-digit wins in their other games. Evanston is coming off of a big win at St. Viator as they beat No. 14 Conant handily. Wildkit senior Nojel Eastern is committed to Purdue and he's joined by a talented cast of teammates.

Lincoln-Way Central at No. 6 Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. -- This one could be intriguing in the SouthWest Suburban as Lincoln-Way Central (1-3) travels to No. 6 Bolingbrook. The Raiders are coming off of an impressive stretch in Decatur and senior Nana Akenten, a Nebraska commit, is playing very well to start the season. One of the state's deepest teams, Bolingbrook can go 10 or 11 deep. Lincoln-Way Central is off to a 1-3 start with two, two-point losses, including one to No. 6 Joliet West.

No. 18 St. Charles East at West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- Not many teams had a better opening week than No. 18 St. Charles East (4-0) as they knocked off St. Joe's and rival St. Charles North by one point each. Junior Justin Hardy is off to a great start and his buzzer-beater over St. Charles North was epic. West Aurora (3-1) will counter with high-scoring junior Cameron Donatlan.

No. 14 Conant at Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. -- The Mid-Suburban West gets going early as No. 14 Conant (4-1) travels to Schaumburg (2-2). Senior guard Jimmy Sotos is off to a very good start for the Cougars as the Bucknell commit has some solid big men in 6-foot-8 junior Ryan Davis and 6-foot-7 senior Michael Downing. Schaumburg picked up a few wins at the St. Charles East event, but fell by double-digits to the two ranked teams they faced.

Chicago Hope Academy at Holy Trinity, 7:30 p.m. -- The Chicago Prep Red opens play as well as Hope Academy (3-2) heads to Holy Trinity (0-4). Hope Academy proved to be tough at Fenwick the first week as they had close losses to the Friars and Westinghouse as well as a win over Morton. Holy Trinity tries to improve from a winless start at West Chicago.

Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion

Loyola vs. No. 14 Notre Dame, 6:00 p.m. -- The Chicago Elite Classic opens with two quality programs as Loyola (2-2) faces No. 14 Notre Dame (4-0). The Ramblers have a quality senior guard in Ramar Evans as they've lost to New Trier and Benet to start the season. Notre Dame won the Battle of the Bridge as forward Jeameril Wilson and guard Matt Stritzel both played very well.

No. 1 Curie vs. East St. Louis, 7:30 p.m. -- The area's No. 1 team gets its first major test as Curie (2-0) faces Mr. Basketball candidate and Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon and East St. Louis. The 6-foot-9 Tilmon should be a daunting opponent for the Condors as they counter with talented seniors like Elijah Joiner, Allante Pickens and Terry Smith. Juniors Traevon and Tyree Martin will also be tested in this one.

No. 11 Fenwick vs. No. 24 Oak Park-River Forest, 9:00 p.m. -- The Oak Park crosstown rivalry should be fun this year as both teams enter this one unbeaten on the season. The No. 11 Friars are led by senior Jamal Nixon and senior Jacob Keller. They'll have to get past the pressure defense of the Huskies as they've won all four of their games by double digits. Jared Scott and Cameron Gross are off to good starts while sophomore Dashown Enoch is one to watch.

Viewer's Choice Game of the Week

No. 19 St. Joseph at De La Salle, 7:00 p.m. -- This week's Viewer's Choice is an intriguing on in the Catholic League North as the Chargers (3-1) go on the road to De La Salle (4-0). St. Joseph dropped a close one to No. 18 St. Charles East last week as they have talented sophomore guard Marquise Walker and senior guard Jason Towers to lead a balanced attack. De La Salle is coming off of a title at the Glenbrook North/St. Patrick tournament as the Meteors took three out of four games by double-figures. This figures to be a much tougher test for head coach Tom White's team in this one.

Hersey ATH Jordan Hansen pledges to NIU

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Hersey ATH Jordan Hansen pledges to NIU

Hersey senior QB/S Jordan Hansen (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) has decided to give NIU his verbal commitment. 

"I'm really excited about it (commitment to NIU)," Hansen said. "NIU started really recruiting me harder around the beginning of the season. The NIU coaches saw me earlier in the summer at one of the North Central College one day camps and we've been in regular contact ever since then."

Hansen, who was drawing fall recruiting attention from Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota State, Eastern Illinois, and Illinois State felt that NIU was the best overall fit for him.

"NIU has a lot to offer. They recruited me as a safety and I'm more of an athlete recruit for them. I really like all of the coaches at NIU. They are just great guys and they have a plan in place to keep the football program on top. NIU also has nice facilities and really everything at NIU is impressive. NIU is also close to home which is a plus. Distance from home was not a huge factor for me but it definitely works out great for my family."

Hansen is also happy and relieved to have made his college choice.

"It's a big relief for sure. I can just stay focused on my team and on my season without having to worry about recruiting."

Jordan Hansen is the 17th known verbal commitment to the NIU Huskies Class of 2020 and the 3rd known in-state pledge. Hansen joins Oswego OL Jack Hugunin and West Aurora DE Matt Johnson in the NIU 2020 in-state class.

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school sports followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Thursday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on Friday night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

This week, for the first time ever, our Wintrust “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week” will be a boys soccer match—and we have some pretty nice local rivalries on deck. Which game is the most worthy of coverage?

Plainfield Central at Plainfield North, 4:30 p.m.

Fenwick at Oak Park-River Forest, 5:30 p.m.

Mundelein at Carmel, 6:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Thursday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 3 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.