Hope Academy’s James picks Illinois hoops
June 22, 2011|By Mike Helfgot, Special to the Tribune
Jalen James had been a hot commodity on the AAU circuit this spring, and he planned on heading into the crucial July recruiting period without a clear favorite.
Bruce Weber, Jerrance Howard and their four incoming Chicago recruits changed his mind this week.
James, a 6-foot-3 point guard entering his junior year at Hope Academy on the West Side, orally committed to Weber on Wednesday night at the Illini’s high school team camp in Champaign.
“After today my whole mindset changed,” James said. “I talked to Coach Weber, my AAU coach (Mike Mullins), my dad and my brother, and I decided to pull the trigger.
“I really didn’t have a favorite school. After that talk I had with Bruce, that changed. The relationship with Coach Jerrance (Howard), Coach Weber and the Chicago players they have made the difference.”
The wiry James, ranked in the top 100 in his class by rivals.com, is a pure point guard and excellent defender who uses his length to his advantage. His stock rose considerably with a strong showing on the AAU circuit for the Illinois Wolves in May.
He has visited Michigan and DePaul and canceled trips to Michigan State and Missouri.
Stay up to speed on the latest Recruitment News on Jalen James.
Class Of 2013 Chicago Hope Academy Star Jalen James Enjoys His Run At Under Armour “Best of the Best Camp In Atlanta, Georgia
|WRITTEN BY CAVAN WALSH|
|THURSDAY, 09 JUNE 2011 05:49|
Class of 2013 Chicago Hope Academy star Jalen James of the Illinois Wolves had a great run last weekend at the Under Armour “Best of the Best Camp”, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.
James, a 6’3 point guard, ranks as one of the top prospects in a loaded Illinois Class of 2013. James and 2012 star Torrence Johnson combine to give Hope Academy a dynamic duo of talent.
“The camp was really fun. Jay Simpson and I came from the Wolves. The camp was in Atlanta and it was really nice. I met a lot of people on and off the court, and you could say I made some new AAU friends. I was having fun playing with the guys, everybody was good and everybody just had a good time. We had an NBA Combine Workout, which was really fun. I had the highest score for the vision section and 2nd highest for the forty,” said James.
James brings size and floor leadership to the table as a player. “I’m a 6″3 point guard, I love to get my teammates the ball when I play and when I have to score I will. Playing with Mullin’s means I have to play hard which I don’t have a problem with at all. When I play I just try to hit my open shots and make the right choices. I just want to keep everything going and in great shape while we play as a team,” said James.
“As for the recruiting process, I’m just taking it all in. I don’t have a favorite school; I’m just getting better and adding schools to the list. Schools that have expressed interest in me and say they want me are Illinois, Michigan, Baylor, Dayton, DePaul, Indiana, Xavier, Mizzou, Wisconsin, Florida State, Michigan State, Tennessee and Cleveland State.”
James will be in Ann Arbor, Michigan this coming weekend for the University of Michigan Elite Camp.