Warriors' Koral puts skills on displayRecent Wheaton Academy transfer Wes Koral will showcase his skills this week at Joy of the Game.
Updated: March 22, 2011 3:54PM
The club basketball circuit is dominated by shoe company events like the Nike Peach Jam and the Adidas Invitational, but the smaller events like the Academic All-American Showcase help form the backbone of college basketball.
The event held at Deerfield's Joy of the Game helps give academically strong basketball players a chance to play in one setting so Ivy League schools and other high-academic institutions can find what they are looking for under one roof.
The camp probably won't produce the next John Wall, but the camp's biggest success story, former Highland Park guard Chris Wroblewski, gives players in the event hope after helping lead Cornell to a surprise Sweet 16 run last season.
In this year's event, rising senior guard Wes Koral is looking to be the next player from Illinois to make an impact in college basketball. Koral recently transferred from Joliet Catholic to Wheaton Academy in hopes of getting some better exposure.
"I went to Joliet Catholic but now I am going to Wheaton Academy," Koral said. "We played some good competition (at Joliet Catholic), but the school was never good so we were always under the radar so I never got any looks besides (club)."
At Wheaton Academy, Koral will team with another emerging player, forward Luke Johnson, who Koral teams with on the club circuit with Velocity.
"It'll be fun, because we're teammates and everything," Koral said. "We're good buddies and we should be pretty good too."
Koral, who sports a 3.6 grade point average and scored a 23 on the ACT, will have attention from both high-academic schools and other schools if he continues to play like he did at the showcase.
While he has no scholarship offers at the moment he has interest from Western Illinois, Elon, New Hampshire and Davidson.
Though Koral doesn't look like a force on the basketball court, he can play above the rim and showcased his vertical leaping ability by throwing down a dunk on an unsuspecting kid during the showcase. He also has the ability to shoot from the outside or drive to the basket, but those abilities were often hidden at Joliet Catholic.
"I was playing in the post (at the) four or five at JCA and I'm 6-2," Koral said. "So I'm looking forward to playing the guard. I'm trying to work on my point guard skills so I can be a combo guard in college. So I'm trying to make some passes and knock down some shots."
Until he gets more publicity, Koral will continue to surprise many of the players he is facing.
"It definitely surprises people," Koral said of his ability. "Just ask that kid (I dunked on.)"