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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Michael O'Brien

2023 Chicago Sun-Times All-State high school basketball team

St. Rita’s Morez Johnson (21) dunks against Mount Carmel. (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

The season didn’t go according to plan for St. Rita. The Mustangs opened the season nationally ranked and were expected to be one of the state’s star attractions.

Roshawn Russell’s squad made a good run in the Class 4A state playoffs, losing to Brother Rice at home in a sectional semifinal, but finished the season 23-11.

There were two major bright spots for the Mustangs. They won the Catholic League Blue with a 12-1 record and star junior Morez Johnson took another step forward.

The 6-9 Illinois recruit averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

“[Johnson] certainly separated himself from the pack,” St. Rita coach Roshawn Russell said. “He dominated on both ends of the floor and showcased his versatility by shooting the three. There is no doubt he’s the best prospect in the state.”

Russell is correct. Johnson’s potential is unmatched. Sophomore guard Jeremiah Fears also has tantalizingly high ceiling, but he’s a 6-0 guard.

Johnson was an easy selection for the Class 4A All-State first team. He’s joined by four seniors, Sun-Times Player of the Year Jeremy Fears Jr. of Joliet West, Kenwood’s Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames, Rolling Meadows guard Cameron Christie and Owen Freeman of Moline.

Freeman, an Iowa recruit that averaged 17.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, is the only member of the first team that has a chance to win the Class 4A state title. Freeman transferred from Bradley-Bourbonnais this summer to team with fellow Iowa recruit Brock Harding, a second team selection. Harding averaged 17.9 points, 5.7 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.4 rebounds for the Maroons (33-3).

Yorkville Christian guard David Douglas Jr., a Class 1A first team selection, produced one of the most productive seasons in state history. The 6-5 senior averaged 33.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.9 seals and 1.3 blocks.

The 33.8 points per game is tied for 10th best in IHSA history. Douglas scored 1,083 points this season, good enough for seventh all-time.

The Mustangs, who won the Class 1A state title last season, finished just 10-22 this season against a schedule heavy on Class 3A and 4A teams.

Douglas is currently uncommitted but has interest from Richmond, Wyoming, Tulane, Cornell and Army.

Chicago Sun-Times All-State Team


First Team
Player, School, Height, Position, Year

  • Darrin Ames, Kenwood, G, 6-2, Sr.
  • Cameron Christie, Rolling Meadows, G, 6-6, Sr.
  • Jeremy Fears Jr., Joliet West, G, 6-2, Sr.
  • Owen Freeman, Moline, C, 6-11, Sr.
  • Morez Johnson, St. Rita, F, 6-9, Jr.

Second Team

  • Jake Fiegen, New Trier, G, 6-3 Sr.
  • Brock Harding, Moline, G, 6-0, Sr.
  • Ahmad Henderson, Brother Rice, G, 5-10, Sr.
  • Mekhi Lowery, Oswego East, F, 6-7, Sr.
  • Ben Oosterbaan, Hinsdale Central, G, 6-6, Sr.


First Team

  • DeAndre Craig, Mount Carmel, G, 6-1, Sr.
  • Ethan Kizer, Metamora, G, 6-6, Sr.
  • Macaleab Rich, East St. Louis, G, 6-7, Sr.
  • Miles Rubin, Simeon, F, 6-10, Sr.
  • Drew Scharnowski, Burlington Central, F, 6-9, Sr.

Second Team

  • Darrion Baker, Hillcrest, C, 6-9, Sr.
  • Jalen Griffith, Simeon, G, 5-10, Sr.
  • Jake Hamilton, Sacred Heart-Griffin, G, 6-4, Sr.
  • Zack Hawkinson, Sacred Heart-Griffin, G, 6-5, Sr.
  • Cooper Koch, Peoria Notre Dame, F, 6-8, Jr.


First Team

  • Dylan Bazzell, Fairbury Prairie Central, G, 6-4, Sr.
  • Cole Certa, Bloomington Central Catholic, G, 6-4, Jr.
  • Ty Pence, St. Joseph-Ogden, F, 6-6, Sr.
  • Jaheim Savage, Phillips, G, 6-4, Sr.
  • Grady Thompson, Princeton, G, 6-4, Sr.

Second Team

  • Al Brooks Jr., Hansberry, G, 6-6, So.
  • Gianni Cobb, Perspectives-Leadership, G, 6-0, Jr.
  • Walt Hill Jr., Rockford Lutheran, G, 6-1, Sr.
  • Caleb Siemer, Teutopolis, F, 6-6, Sr.
  • Jase Whiteman, Rockridge, G, 6-1, Sr.

Class 1A

First Team

  • Jakson Baber, Cornerstone, F, 6-2, Sr.
  • David Douglas Jr., Yorkville Christian, G, 6-5, Sr.
  • Tyler Franklin, Cobden, F, 6-6, Sr.
  • Roderic Gatewood, Mounds Meridian, G, 5-9, Sr.
  • Danny Stephens, August Southeastern, C, 6-7, Sr.

Second Team

  • Ja’Juan Cozark, Marshall, F, 6-5, Sr.
  • Thomas Hereau, Scales Mound, G, 6-2, Jr.
  • Jordan Quinn, Tuscola, F, 6-3, Jr.
  • Ross Robertson, South Beloit, C, 6-8, So.
  • Wyatt Thompson, Dwight, 6-7, C, Sr.
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