Everybody from here to Cairo wrote off Hope Academy's chances of winning the Class 1A championship when 6-foot-3 junior point guard Jalen James, who is committed to the University of Illinois,
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Malachi Nix is only 5-foot-6 but he thinks big. Niles North's junior point guard wants to play college basketball and his dream schools are Kentucky, Kansas and Baylor.
In January, executive director Marty Hickman of the Illinois High School Association spent time with executive directors from around the country.