Rockridge senior forward Ethan Happ finished fifth in the Illinois Mr. Basketball voting, which was released on Friday evening. Whitney Young senior and Duke signee Jahlil Okafor (492 points) was the winner.|
Finishing ahead of Happ were, in order, Okafor, Chicago Curie forward Cliff Alexander (Kansas signee), Chicago Heights Marian guard Tyler Ulis (Kentucky signee) and nationally rated Lincolnshire Stevenson guard Jalen Brunson. Okafor, Alexander and Ulis all will play in the McDonald's All-American Game.
"Even to be in the top five is an honor," Happ said. "I was a little surprised when I heard about it. To be with that elite group of players, it's something special."
Happ, a Wisconsin recruit who averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Rockets, received 77 points. Five points were award for a first-place vote, three for being second and one for third.
The Chicago Tribune presents the award, with state media members and schools being asked to vote for three players.
Happ was the only small-school player on the ballot. The other four finalists played in Class 4A.
"It's a testament to how hard I've worked and the time I've put in," Happ said. "To get this individual honor, it shows the amount of time I've put in."
Mount Carmel senior guard and Indiana signee Tyra Buss is the repeat girls' winner.
-- Staff report
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