The Chicago United Hoops Classic was named appropriately. The game, which was played Saturday afternoon at the University of Chicago, featured teams from the Chicago area that were brought together not by conference affiliation, but by regional location. The West team was coached by Farragut’s William “Wolf” Nelson, and the South squad was coached by Simeon’s Robert Smith.
Led by Downers South’s Jerron Wilbut’s 14 points, the West defeated the South 120-103.
“We just wanted to have fun, share the ball and leave the court with a victory for the last game of our senior year,” the West’s Devin Foster (Curie) said.
The game was played before a near-capacity crowd that included Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Jessie White Tumblers, and Hollywood movie director, John Singleton ("Boyz n the Hood").
The South held a 12-point lead going into the final quarter, but the West rallied to tie the score at 84 midway through the fourth quarter. Rashaun Stimage (Farragut), whose block and rebound led to a pull-up jumper by Wilbut, triggered a 10-1 run. Another block by Stimage led to a layup by Foster. Stimage’s seventh block of the game lead to a layup by Willie Conner (Crane). Stimage finished with eight points, seven blocks and eight rebounds.
The Ben Wilson MVP Award was shared by Foster and Darrell Combs (Thornwood). Foster had 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Combs scored a game high 22 points.
DeVante Jones (Orr) and Brian Howard (St. Ignatius) each had 11 points, and Deonta Terrell (Farragut) and Conner scored 10 each for the West.
Michael Howell (Carver) finished with 12 points for the South.
“I would rather have the victory, but everybody enjoyed themselves and it was fun mixing it up with players from other schools and getting to know and talk with them,” Combs said.