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!
51 pages. 8,900 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.
NUMBER 30: MAROA-FORSYTH
(8) Maroa-Forsyth vs. (1) TBD
G - Robo Kreps (UIC) 6-1, 2nd Mr. Basketball 2007 over Evan Turner, Jacob Pullen and Demetri McCamey; State Champion; 1,731 points 1st
G - Austin Peebles (St. Joseph IN D2) 6-3, 1,565 points; Class of 2006; State runner-up
G/F - Ken Chalcraft (Illinois football QB) 6-3, (Leading scorer for 44 years; 4th now); 1,000 rebounds; Class of 1957 (Sweet 16 one class)
PF - Zach Kowa (MacMurray) 6-5, Trojans need his size in post
C - Mike Pope (Illinois Wesleyan) 6-6, 1996-97 D3 National Champion
G - Drew McCool (Eastern Kentucky) 6-0; 1,366 points 6th; Class of 2005; 11 ppg Parkland
F - Doug Faulkner (Danville Area CC) 6-5, Inaugural Maroa-Forsyth Hall of Fame class
Lonny "Eagle" McClung, 1956-7 Sweet 16 team (One class), Inaugural Maroa-Forsyth Hall of Fame class
G - Blake Grider 1,480 points 3rd; Class of 2001
Butch Brown, 5th most points (Class of 1958)
G - Wyatt Washburn 1,059 points; Class of 2010
Steve Gillen, 1,057 points; Class of 1970
Larry Day, 1,031 points; Class of 1969
G - CJ McClellan (Millikin)
G - Ben Cochran (Wheaton, Blackburn) State champions 2007
G - TJ Jackson (Illinois baseball) 6-0
G - Blake Stelzriede (Illinois College) 6-0 4 ppg senior at IC
(Did we miss a player? Email email@example.com so we can update the roster! Thanks for your help in making this special project complete.)
Best season: 2007 State Champion (Class 1A, two-class system)
Enrollment: 386 (2020)
GOAT: Robo Kreps. End of discussion. The 2007 Mr. Basketball runner-up wasn't just unstoppable in the 217 area code, but at State and then in college where he led UIC to the likes of a win over No. 12 Illinois in 2010 at the United Center in Chicago. He even put up 20+ points per game for his European pro team. Baller. Shot caller. GOAT.
Why they're seeded here: This is one of those teams where you can't just look at the college destinations and evaluate it from solely that. This team has guys who can flat-out fill it up, I mean pick them. Ben Cochran from the 2000s teams could get hot at any moment and go for 20+. Drew McCool and Blake Grider could just as easily been in that starting lineup. This is a case of the bench and starting lineup having major interchangeability. If you or your brother or friend is on the bench, don't take offense to it -- someone's gotta start. Typically career points scored or college destination are tiebreakers.
One more thing: shout-out to Butch Brown, who still has the fifth most points in program history despite graduating in 1958 when scoring was far more difficult.
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 18 (Phase 1)
March 18 until the NCAA Final Four in April (Phase 2)
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
February 12: The 7 seeds