Preps Talk

Jalen Brunson named 2015 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year

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Jalen Brunson named 2015 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year

Former Stevenson point guard Jalen Brunson has been named the 2015 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

Also named Mr. Basketball of Illinois and the CSN Preps Player of the Year for the 2014-2015 high school season, the 6-foot-2 Brunson led the USA Basketball U19 team to a gold medal at the FIBA World Championships in Greece this past summer.

Now a freshman at Villanova, Brunson averaged 14.0 points, 5.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game during the U19 World Championships as he was named MVP of the event. Brunson joins former local stars like Isiah Thomas, Glenn "Doc" Rivers, Michael Finley and Jabari Parker as winners of the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award. The USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award is given annually to a player (or team) within USA Basketball and is not exclusive to any particular age group. Other notable winners include Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

“It definitely means a lot, but it’s also a credit to everyone that has helped me – my parents especially, my coaches and teammates, coach [Sean] Miller,” Brunson said in the release. “They helped put me in the right position so that I could be successful. It’s an individual honor, but at the same time it’s a team honor. Everyone helped me, and I can’t thank them enough.”

As a senior at Stevenson, Brunson led the Patriots to the Class 4A state championship as he averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. The son of former NBA veteran Rick Brunson, Jalen led Stevenson to Peoria his final three seasons of high school as he was named a McDonald's All-American during the spring.

So far at Villanova during his freshman season, Brunson is averaging 10.5 points and 3.1 assists per game for the 8-2 Wildcats.

35 Days to Kickoff: Oak Forest

35 Days to Kickoff: Oak Forest

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Oak Forest

Head coach: Brian McDonough

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (3-3 South Suburban Conference). Oak Forest failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Pekin
Aug. 31 @ Niles Notre Dame
Sept. 7 @ T.F. South
Sept. 14 @ Hillcrest
Sept. 21 @ Eisenhower
Sept. 28 vs T.F. North
Oct. 5 vs Tinley Park
Oct. 12 @ Bremen
Oct. 19 vs Lemont

Biggest storyline: Can the Bengals get back into the IHSA state playoffs this season?

Names to watch this season: LB Anthony Kluk and OL/DL Julian Ramirez

Biggest holes to fill: The Bengals will need to reload on both sides of the football especially on offense with the graduation losses of several starters including QB Tyler Morrison and RB Waitari Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: It was a rare season for the Bengals in 2017, having missed the IHSA state playoff field for the first time since 1999. Look for Oak Forest to rely on its defense while a newer group on offense develops. The Bengals and veteran head coach Brian McDonough will need to get out to a good early start with a front-loaded regular season schedule. 

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Glenbard North

Head coach: Ryan Wilkens

Assistant coaches: Rich Smelko, John Cassidy, Bruce Donash, John Pullia, Tom Gudella, Kudret Kamabari and Matt Ng

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Glenbard North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Batavia in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Neuqua Valley

Aug. 31 vs Warren Township

Sept. 7 @ St. Charles East

Sept. 14 vs Batavia

Sept. 21 @ Wheaton North

Sept. 28 @ Lake Park

Oct. 5 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 12 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Oct. 19 @ Geneva

[MORE: 50 Days to Kickoff - Neuqua Valley]

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have a new conference home. Can the Panthers reload and fare well in the DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: LB Michael Wellman and FB Jake Wilson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will need several players to step up on offense with just one returning starter back from a season ago-- senior FB Jake Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard North says farewell to the DuPage Valley conference and says hello to all things DuKane. The Panthers will undoubtedly be a younger team in 2018. While some of the star power has graduated, head coach Ryan Wilkins will once again focus on establishing a strong, fast and physical running game. Getting off to a good start against a loaded schedule will be a big key for Glenbard North this season.