Top 10 Illinois high school basketball teams since 2000

Illinois is an undisputed hotbed of high school basketball, home to 26 players who appeared in NBA games during the 2021-22 season, including Patrick Beverly, Anthony Davis, Andre Iguodala, Derrick Rose and Fred Van. Vleet, among many others.

Prairie State also produced the No. 6 high school team in the nation this year at Glenbard West, which went 37-1 en route to the Class 4A state title.
This got us wondering where Glenbard West ranks against the best teams in the state since the turn of the century. By evaluating resumes, national rankings and roster talent, we’ve put together a list of the best teams in Illinois since 2000. See the full breakdown below.

Photo: Brian Murphy

Jahlil Okafor comes into the role in his senior year with Whitney Young in 2013.

Top 10 Illinois teams since 2000

Registration: 30-3

National ranking: #3

Notable players: Kendrick Nunn, Jabari Parker, Kendall Pollard, Jaylon Tate, Russell Woods

Tiredness: Although Parker, the 2013 MaxPreps National Player of the Year, was coming back from a broken foot and not yet 100%, he averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds to lead the Wolverines to their fourth Premier League title. Class 4A Consecutive Condition. The program went 118-15 during the dominating stretch. One of the deepest teams in state history was led by a pair of future NBA players in Nunn and Parker.

2. Simeon, 2006-07

Registration: 33-2

National ranking: Number 6

Notable players: Tim Flowers, Brandon Hall, Kevin Johnson, Bryant Orange, Derrick Rose

Tiredness: A starting lineup of five seniors was led by first-team Parade All-America selection Rose, which averaged 18.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 3.4 steals. During his career with the program, Simeon went 120-12 with Rose in the roster. The future NBA MVP had 28 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in an iconic win over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 78-75 midway through the season.

3. Simeon, 2011-12

Registration: 33-1

National ranking: Number 4

Notable players: Jaleni Neely, Kendrick Nunn, Jabari Parker, Kendall Pollard, Steve Taylor

Tiredness: The Wolverines’ only loss came to eventual national champion Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nevada) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. Led by a talented group of juniors in Parker, Pollard and Nunn with senior striker Taylor, Simeon beat previously unbeaten Proviso East (Maywood) 50-48 after trailing five points early in the fourth quarter to win his third consecutive state title.

Registration: 37-1

National ranking: Number 6

Notable players: Bobby Durkin, Braden Huff, Caden Pierce, Ryan Renfro, Paxton Manager

Tiredness: A balanced offense saw four players average 11.5 or more points led by the Chicago Sun-Times Huff Player of the Year, who averaged 16.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists . The Hilltoppers outscored state opponents by 28.4 points per game and defeated Whitney Young (Chicago) 56-34 in the Class 4A state title game. Glenbard West’s only loss came against Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA).

Registration: 29-5

National ranking: No. 9

Notable players: Rodney Herenton, Erwin Henry, Jahlil Okafor, Miles Reynolds, Paul White

Tiredness: Facing an ambitious national schedule that included 13 out-of-state opponents, the Dolphins scored big wins over Apple Valley (Minn.), Prime Prep (Texas), Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va. ) and Southwind (Ten.). Led by first-team MaxPreps All-America selection Okafor, who averaged 24.3 points and 11.4 rebounds, Whitney Young captured her first state crown since 2008-09 and went undefeated against teams in the ‘State.

Registration: 31-2

National ranking: Number 6

Notable players: Brandon Lee, Shaun Livingston, DeAndre Miranda, Jacob Motteler, Dustin Warfield

Tiredness: One of the most dynamic guarding tandems in state history, Lee and Livingston terrorized opposing defenses as seniors while combining for over 1,000 points. Livingston, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, led the way with 27 points in the Lions’ 53-47 victory over Homewood-Flossmor to win the program’s second straight Class AA state championship.

7. Simeon, 2010-11

Registration: 30-2

National ranking: No. 9

Notable players: Jabari Parker, Rashawn McElrath, Jaleni Neely, Steve Taylor, Darien Walker

Tiredness: Won the second of the program’s four straight state titles with a strong mix of experience and youth. Parker, then a sophomore, led the way for a group that started three seniors but saw many underclassmen make strong contributions throughout the season. The Wolverines lost twice in Chicago Public League play before bouncing back to claim the Class 4A state title with a 48-39 victory over Warren Township (Gurnee).

8. Whitney Young, 2012-13

Registration: 27-4

National ranking: No. 9

Notable players: Ausar Madison, Jahlil Okafor, LJ Peak, Miles Reynolds, Paul White

Tiredness: The only team that failed to win a state title on this list, the Dolphins lost to the highest-ranked team on this list, Simeon, in the state tournament. Despite the loss, Whitney Young played a tough domestic schedule, competing in the City of Palms Classic and winning the Beach Ball Classic. Juniors Okafor, Peak and White played key roles in Whitney Young’s national top 10.

Registration: 33-3

National ranking: No. 16

Notable players: Kyle Davis, Billy Garrett, Charlie Moore, Xzavier Taylor, Markee Williams

Tiredness: Defeated opponents by an average of 29.8 points, with all three losses being a combined nine points. The Mustangs won the Class 3A state title with a balanced effort that saw all four senior starters produce double digits. Morgan Park was the only opponent in the state to defeat the top team on the Simeon list in 2013.

Registration: 30-3

National ranking: No. 21

Notable players: Jalen Brunson, Connor Cashaw, Matt Johnson, Justin Smith

Tiredness: MaxPreps All-America selection Brunson averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds to lead the Patriots to the Class 4A state title. Stevenson went 90-10 with two appearances in the state title game in Brunson’s last three years on the program.