Warren's Darius Paul and North Chicago's Aaron Simpson have showcased their skills at the highest level of high school basketball in Illinois.
Paul and Simpson were recognized for those skills with their selections to The Associated Press big-school all-state teams, which were announced Wednesday. A panel of statewide sports writers and broadcasters voted for the 10-man teams in Class 4A and 3A.
Paul, a 6-foot-9 senior who has signed with Western Michigan, was a second-team pick in 4A. Paul helped Warren finish second in the state last year and it reached the supersectional this season.
Simpson, a 5-10 senior who has signed with Illinois State, was a first-team 3A pick. The all-time leading scorer in North Chicago history has led his team to a second straight state finals trip after it finished fourth last year.
Leading the 4A first team was 6-9 junior forward Jabari Parker of two-time defending champion Simeon. Parker, regarded by some analysts as the top high school player in the country, was the only unanimous selection (first-place vote on every ballot) in either class.
Simeon also had 6-7 Marquette-bound senior Steve Taylor on the first team and 6-2 junior guard Kendrick Nunn on the second team.
Two 4A first-team selections who will also play in Peoria this weekend are Rockford Auburn senior guard and Wichita State recruit Fred Van Vleet and St. Louis-bound senior guard Keith Carter of undefeated Proviso East. Belleville East junior Malcolm Hill, who has verbally committed to Illinois, rounds out the first team.
Also on the second team are Whitney Young 6-10 sophomore Jahlil Okafor, St. Rita guard Tony Hicks and Normal Community guard Anthony Beane.
With Simpson on the 3A first team are two selections who will be playing in the state finals - senior forward Trey Kellum of Peoria Central and senior guard Everett Clemons of Springfield Lanphier. Morgan Park junior Billy Garrett Jr. and Peoria Manual senior Jeff White round out the first team.
The 3A second team is J.J. Cravatta of Streator, Deshawn Munson of East St. Louis, Milton Doyle of Marshall and downstaters Brett Bisping of Morton and Alec Peters of Washington.
Area 4A honorable mention selections who received at least 1 vote are Robert Knar (Mundelein), Juwan Starks (West Aurora), Nathan Boothe (Warren), Kendall Stephens (St. Charles East), Kory Brown (Elgin) and Mike LaTulip (Prospect). Others receiving honorable mention included Crete-Monee guard Michael Orris, who played at Palatine as a freshman and sophomore, Zion-Benton sophomore Milik Yarbrough, Waukegan senior Akeem Springs and New Trier senior Connor Boehm.
Area 3A honorable mention selections were Cameron Harvey (Wheaton Academy), Tyler Watzlawick (Hampshire) and Jordan Taylor (Grayslake Central).
• Marty Maciaszek coordinates the voting of the boys all-state basketball teams for The Associated Press.