Is Goins Windy City's 2008 Sleeper?

The past few years Chicago, a mecca of high school basketball, has kicked out its share of under the radar late bloomers. Is Steve Goins the next breakout performer?

There's something about the Windy City. The past few seasons, Chicago has cranked out a strong number of late blooming players. Until his senior year, few saw Patrick Beverley coming. Even fewer saw the explosion of Dwyane Wade.

While the town has done well with late blooming guards, it just may be ready to crank out a late developing big man. The candidate: 6-foot-10 center Steve Goins. As a junior last year at Leo, Goins barely saw the court.

We first caught him in action during the May Hensley Memorial Classic. He wasn't polished but showed enough flashes to continue tracking him. He continued to fly under the radar and programs are monitoring him.

"I think I was good enough last year," Goins said. "This year, as soon as I hit the summer, I got to play more. The more I played the more confidence I had."

Goins and his mother Tracy made the decision to leave Leo and get a fresh start at Curie. "He's at a different situation this year and hopefully he'll have some better looks this year," Tracy Goins said. "People think this is going to be his breakout year. If everything works out it should happen. We're pretty excited."

Recently, Goins unofficially visited UIC and they've offered. Others, like DePaul and Illinois are talking visits, but haven't made scholarship overtures to date. Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Loyola and Valparaiso are in the mix.

Goins said he's about in the middle of the recruiting process but clearly programs would like more time to evaluate him. At this stage, he's unclear if he'll decide early or in the spring.

"I'm not sure if (colleges) are offering scholarships but they call a lot."

Time will tell.


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