Boys Basketball: Lake Forest’s Sam Downey commits to Yale

Story Image Barrington -Boys Hoops. Elite Academic Showcase. Some of the top academic players from area will be competing.Sam Downey drives the ball. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media

Updated: August 6, 2012 7:27PM

Sam Downey has put the finishing touches on his outstanding summer.

The 6-foot-9 power forward, who will be a senior at Lake Forest, will play Division I basketball. He made a verbal commitment to Yale University on Saturday morning.

Downey, who developed into one of the top players for the Fundamental U17 team this summer, was in great demand. He also had offers from Brown, Kent State, Northern Illinois and Kennesaw State. He also drew interest from Colgate, Cornell and American.

“I’m ectstatic to be going to Yale,” said Downey. “I had the best connection with their coaches. And, of course, it’s a top academic school.”

Fundamental U coach Mike Weinstein saw this coming.

“He kept getting better and better this summer,” said Weinstein.

Downey, who wasn’t a major player for Lake Forest last winter, shined in the July showcase tournaments for Fundamental U.

In an 8 a.m. game against a team from Boston in the AAU Showcase in Orlando, he rarely missed a shot and tossed in 29 points.

“I woke up ready to play,” said Downey.

He has transformed his game on both ends of the court.

“During the last couple of months, I’ve learned to play more aggressively and to play with more confidence,” Downey said.

It’s been a good summer for Lake Forest basketball players. Sophomore Evan Boudreaux and senior Ben Simpson helped Team NLP to a second-place finish in the recent AAU Division I national tournament in Orlando. The 6-7 Boudreaux picked up a scholarship offer from Boston College at the tourney.

Asked if Lake Forest will be the team to beat in the North Suburban Conference this winter, Downey had a better answer.

“I think we ware going to be the team to beat in the state,” said Downey. “But that’s just me. That’s just my opinion.”

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