It's WAND's "All-Time 5"! Which local high school has the best all-time, all-star lineup of basketball players from any era, together on one court in a tournament of 33 teams? Tune in every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. through March 18 as Gordon Voit announces a new group of seeds in the bracket!
79 pages. 13,000 words (and counting). Countless conversations, messages, box scores, All-State lists and school records. Now that Gordon Voit's research packet has been compiled, we begin the fun. (Quick reminder: It's not who was the best player in high school, or who had the best stats. It's which player [evaluated at his peak] would help the team stay competitive against other professional-caliber teams.
NUMBER 1: LANPHIER LIONS
(1) Lanphier vs. (8) TBA
PG - Doug Collins (Iowa State) 6-1, 14-4-6-1.6 best year ISU; 2nd in Big 8 apg; 23 ppg senior year LHS; HM All-State (two-class system) along with players like David Booth, Ron Curry; Led City in scoring 1987 (64); Class of 1987
SG - Richard McBride (Illinois) 6-3, 2,068 points; Parade All-American Fourth Team; Consensus Top 35 recruit; 2x CS8 POY 2001 + 2003, 3rd scoring at State 2002 (76); All-State Tournament 2002; HM All-Big Ten Illinois; 4x NCAA Tournament; 10-2-2 senior year UI; Class of 2003
SG - Jeff Walker (Iowa, UIS) 6-4, 2x CS8 POY 1995 +1996, 24.5 ppg UIS 2002, Iowa’s Tom Davis: most physically gifted recruit he’d seen, per SJR; First Team All-State (two-class system) 1996; Class of 1996
SF - Kevin Gamble (Iowa, NBA) 6-5, 16-3-3 best year NBA, 11 years in league; 63rd pick in 1987 NBA Draft to Trailblazers; Led Iowa to Elite 8 1987 (30-5) and hit game-winning shot in Sweet 16; NCAA All-Region; Best year UI 12-5-2; Capitol Conference POY 1983; HM All-State 1983; Springfield Sports HOF; Class of 1983
SF - Andre Iguodala (Arizona, NBA, Olympics) 6-6, Four players have the following: NBA Finals MVP (2015), 3 rings, Gold Medall, All-Defensive (he has 2x): Jordan, Bryant, James, Iguodala; 2012 NBA All-Star, Best year 20-5-5-2 spg for Sixers 2007-08, First Team All-Pac-10 (2004); Parade All-American Second Team; 2002 CS8 POY, Led City in scoring 2002 (65); Led State Tournament in scoring 2002 (86); 9th overall pick in 2004 NBA Draft; Class of 2002
PF - Ed Horton (Iowa and NBA) 6-8, McDonald’s All-American, Parade All-American Third Team, Led State Tournament in scoring (104 pts, 33 more than No. 2); Led City in scoring 1984 (73) + 1985 (71); 18-11 senior Iowa; 1,372 points (No. 7 at time); 1 year NBA 5 ppg – 2 rpg for Bullets ’89-’90; Played overseas until 1997; Class of 1985
** Second Wave of Starters **
PG - Xavier Bishop (Montana State, UMKC) 5-8, Most impressive high school statistics in program history; 1st points 2,287, First Team All-State (3A); School-record 50 points in a game at City; CS8 POY, First player to ever be All-Pekin Tournament 4x; Record 101 points at City (2016) and also led City in 2015 (78); Has 1,000 points already D1 with one more season to play; Best year 15-2-3 at UMKC; Class of 2016
PG – Larry Austin, Jr. (CMU, Vanderbilt, Xavier) 6-2, 17.5 ppg (5th MAC), 6 rpg, 6 apg (1st MAC), 2.2 spg (1st MAC) at CMU; Somehow voted Second (?) Team All-MAC, also All-Defensive Team MAC; Unanimous First Team All-State (3A), 22-8-4-4 as a senior LHS; Led City in scoring 2014 (71); High 3-star recruit; Started for Team USA U16 team (7.2 ppg, 4.4 apg); Class of 2014
SF – Rich Schultz (Bradley, ABA) 6-6, All-State 1968; 798 points in 28 games as senior, 28.5 ppg, 12 rpg; Led City in scoring 1968 (78); All-Missouri Valley; 1,109 points Bradley, Carolina Cougars and Denver Rockets (ABA) + Chicago Hustle (WBA)
F - Calvin Pettit (Central Missouri) 6-4, First Team All-State 1964 (one class), co-star of 1963 State team (3rd); 21 ppg + 13 rpg best year Central Missouri, ripped down 23 rebounds against Louisville (1965); Atlanta Hawks organization, New Haven Elms (EBA), Peoria Chiefs and Decatur Bullets (CBA); Marques Haynes World Fabulous Magicians; Springfield HOF; Class of 1964
PF – Victor Chukwudebe (Illinois) 6-7, 230, 1,480 pts LHS, 2nd Team All-State 1996 (Class AA); Played in almost every game for four years UI; Best year UI 6-5; Class of 1996
G – Yaakema Rose (UMSL) 5-9, 2017 Area POY; 3x All-CS8, First Team All-State (3A), 19-2-7-3 as senior LHS; Star of City Tournament; First Team All-Conference and All-Defensive Team D2 UMSL; 14-5, 3 spg 16-4-2.5 Parkland, Co-Conference POY; Class of 2017
G/F - Ray Ramsey (Bradley, NBA) 6-2, Three-sport star; 2 games with Baltimore Bullets 1948-49; Springfield HOF
G - Tyler Klunick (Harvard) 5-10, 2004 CS8 POY, Led City in scoring 2004 (52); Class of 2004
G - Eric Gilchrese (New Hampshire) 6-0, 10-3-3 best year UNH, 1.5 spg; All-CS8; Class of 2005
G - Jim Zimmermann (Bradley) 5-10, HM All-State 1969, led City in scoring 1969 (75), Springfield Sports HOF; 21 ppg, held LHS record with 43 points in a game until Xavier Bishop broke it; 15.2 points on Bradley freshman team; 3x All-Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic HC at Riverton 1973-79 with a 109-51 record, one of the few people to have played and coached in the IHSA state tournament; Class of 1969
G - Everett Clemons (Indiana State) 6-1, 10-4-6 best year ISU, 2012 CS8 POY, Led City in scoring 2012; Helped LHS to State 2012; Class of 2013
William Horton, HM All-State 1987
Ivan Jackson (Western Illinois, enlisted in Air Force), 1,374 points (was record); 21 ppg senior (first in LHS history to average 20 points); Led City in scoring 1957 (64); co-star of 1956 State team; Class of 1957
Don Erickson, All-City 1949 + 1950, 52 points in a game YMCA League, Pitched for Phillies' big league team
Bob Erickson (Western Illinois baseball, SCI basketball) 19 ppg best year SCI; Two years of minor league baseball; Class of 1966
Jim Kopatz (Illinois football) 6-3, Led city in scoring 3x, spot duty QB for Illini, Drafted 4th round by St. Louis (MLB) too, All-State basketball 1971; Star of 1971 State team (1st scoring 111 points, 24 higher than 2nd)
Rufus Greer (Black Hawk College) AA at JuCo BHC, 19 ppg for Lions State team in 1971, then knee injury at Augustana; Class of 1971
F – Leonard Walker (UIC) 6-4, best year UIC 5-4; Class of 1996
Mike Rodgerson (Illinois) baseball four years, basketball two at Illinois; co-led 1963 State team (3rd Place) (3rd in scoring 70 points in four games); Class of 1963
PG - Cardell McGee (JuCo) 6-3, IBCA First Team All-State (3A/4A) 16-5-5-3.5 senior year LHS; Division-I offers like Illinois State and DePaul; elite defensive player; Class of 2018
Mickey Madison, 6-1, 1950s standout forward with Bob Nika
Dwight Lambert, third scorer on 1963 3rd place team
Leon Shanklin, Led City in scoring 1965 (52 points)
Eric Moore, Led City in scoring 1972 (67)
Russ Hayes, Led City in scoring 1974 (48)
Dave Wood, Led City in scoring 1978 (53)
George Streeter, Led City in scoring 1981 (tie with Dick Schofield) (80)
G - Artie Taylor (Arkansas State) 6-5, Led City in scoring 1989 (63), 4 ppg one year at ASU
James Ballard, Led City in scoring 1992 (tie with Mike Workman, SHG) (62)
F - Anthony Brown, 6-6, All-CS8 First Team 2005, Led City in scoring 2005 (63); Class of 2005
Carmaine McBride, Led City in scoring 2006 (40)
G - Karl Madison (Drake) 5-11, Led City in scoring 2010 (50); Best year at Drake started 29 games with 5 ppg, 2 apg; Class of 2011
G - Aundrae Williams (UIS) 6-0, HM All-State 2017; All-CS8; 12-3 senior year LHS; Part of State team (4th place 3A); Class of 2017 and his dad Aundra Williams (Eastern Illinois track) who was blazing fast; Class of 2017
F - Karl Wright III (UIS) 6-4, jumps 6-10 high jump
Hal Beard, co-star of 1956 State team with Ivan Jackson; 19 pts in Super-Sectional against Quincy
Kevin Jones (Eastern Illinois football) Springfield Sports HOF; four-year basketball starter, State Team 1977 (2nd); Track and football superstar; Class of 1978
George “Bud” Alewelt, 3x All-City basketball, Offered basketball scholarship to Bradley but served in WWII; Springfield Sports HOF
Don Hudson, Second player in city history to hit 1,000 points (behind Dick Schofield); played for Illinois State freshman/sophomore team but quit and got married! Springfield Sports HOF; Class of 1953
Entire 1977 team (Class AA state runners-up 28-5)
G - Shelly Tunson, 6-3, co-star of 1977 State team (2nd); All-State Tournament Team; 3rd scoring at State (66); Class of 1978
Mike Watson, HM All-State 1977, co-star of 1977 State team (2nd); 54 points in 4 games at State 1977
Gordon Smith, 6th in scoring at State Tournament 1977 (58)
G - Tim Hulett, 6-0, Averaged 12.5 points per game for the 1977 State team, then became a professional baseball player
Entire 1983 team (Class AA state champs 30-3): Leslie Lee, Moose Nika (2nd on team in scoring at State 45 in 4 games), Clarence Briggity, Clark Douglas, Mark Alstoff, Ed Horton, Kevin Gamble
Entire 1985 team (Class AA runners-up 29-4): Wali Abdul-Rahim (5th scoring at State, All-Tournament 62 pts), Willie Grier, Pat McGuire, William Horton, Ed Horton
Entire 2002 team (Class AA runners-up 32-2): Niccos Scott, Tony Smith, Ademola Adeniji, Terell Pearson, Tyler Klunick, Rich McBride, Andre Iguodala
(Did we miss a player? Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update the roster! Thanks for your help in making this special project complete. If you submit a name for consideration, please remember to include height, position, graduation year, college destination as well as a list of accolades. Please also remember that this is a fun hypothetical basketball project.)
Overview: Welcome to the Monstars. I'm literally listening to the theme song right now. That's what should run through your head when you go over this roster. (Go ahead, click the link.) Nobody will walk into the gym with more confidence. They're the favorites and they know it. All roads to the All-Time 5 title go through the North Side.
Upside of roster: Two words: Finals MVP. The crown jewel player of the crown jewel team is Andre Iguodala. There are other players with the NBA stamp on their resume, none anywhere close to Iguodala's combination of rings, All-Star status, gold medal and of course the Finals MVP honor. And the crown has a whole bunch of other jewels in it too. Every single member of the starting lineup was either a high school All-American, First Team All-State (two-class system), Power 5 conference star or NBA player. Most are some combination of those labels.
Lineup strategy: Did you notice that there are six starters? You can fire me from this project -- I still won't pick five from that crew! I refuse. No matter who I boot, I would get an entire neighborhood of irate fans up in arms. I mean do you tell the guy who was No. 2 in the Big 8 in assists (and the only pure PG of the six) that he's on the pine? Or the local legend whose reputation is at mythical levels (Jeff Walker)? Or one of the three NBA players? Or one of the three All-Americans? We'll start six and take the technicals!
Bonus: Consider that Andre Iguodala has made more in career basketball salary ($168 million) than every other player in our viewing area's history combined. Roughly two times "the field", in fact. That's not including endorsements, either.
Downside of roster: Stop it.
Highlights of bench: This isn't hyperbole: the "Second Wave" of starters would also be fighting for a No. 1 seed. No matter who you booted from the First Five, you'd combine that player with 1) Xavier Bishop and Larry Austin, Jr., both players who have put up 15+ points a game at the D-I level 2) Rich Schultz and Calvin Pettit, both college stars at forward who spent time in the ABA and 3) A Big Ten big man like Victor Chukwudebe. There are so many other All-State and CS8 POY and D-I guys that it's embarrassing.
Bonus bench shout-out: Shout-out to the Rose-manian Devil! Yaakema Rose was so much fun to watch when I first moved to Central Illinois. He'd spin through the lane, somehow keep track of where the hoop was and blow up the defense for bucket after bucket. Strong, overcoming odds, getting the job done -- that's Yaak. The final shot of the video is a fitting tribute to his career.
Best season: The 1983 team is legendary among a group of nine legendary State teams. The 80s were hot in Chicago and to make it farther than any of those teams is an achievement in and of itself. The '83 Lions went 30-3 and included names like Leslie Lee, Moose Nika, Clarence Briggity, Clark Douglas, Mark Alstoff and of course future NBA forwards Ed Horton and Kevin Gamble.
Enrollment: 2,100 (1977), 1805 (1983), 1200 (2020)
GOAT: Four players in the history of the world have a Finals MVP, three rings, a gold medal and made an All-Defensive Team: Jordan, Bryant, James, Iguodala. End of discussion.
ALL-TIME 5 OVERVIEW
WHAT: A competition to see who has the best all-time all-star squad of any high school basketball program in the 217 area code.
WHEN: February 5 - March 21 (Phase 1 - Releasing the Teams)
March 22 through April 18 (Phase 2 - Bracket Challenge)
March 22: Selection Sunday
HOW: Gordon Voit will release four more teams every single Wednesday night, two during the 6 p.m. show and two during the 10 p.m. show. This is Phase 1. Phase 2 consists of a bracket challenge pitting the teams against each other in a simulated tournament.
RELEASING THE TEAMS
February 5: The 8 seeds
No. 33: Mt. Pulaski (Play-in game)
No. 32: Okaw Valley (Bethany-Findlay) (Play-in game)
February 12: The 7 seeds
February 19: The 6 seeds
February 26: The 5 seeds
March 4: The 4 seeds
March 11: The 3 seeds
March 13: 2 seed (Note: The schedule has been changed in light of all local sports being cancelled by coronavirus concerns.)
March 16: 2 seeds
March 17: 2 seed
March 18: 1 seed
March 19: 1 seed
March 20: 1 seed
March 21: 1 seed
March 22: "Selection Sunday"
- Revealing the Bracket (Half of the bracket at 5 p.m. and half at 10 p.m.)
- Fan voting begins for First Round Games
First Round Results Announced
Sweet 16 Results Announced
Final Four Results Announced