Speedy North Chicago junior Aaron Simpson is a tremendous three point shooter, and he can penetrate for layups and floaters. He has been a star on former Chicago Bull power forward Dickie Simpkins's Team NLP teams, and the coach is pleased with his progress.
"He's coming along pretty well. He's doing a good job. We put him on double duty, playing on the 17's and playing on the 16's. He's buying into defense more. He's shooting the ball pretty good, and he's knocking down some shots."
Simpson's role changes depending on which level he is playing with at any given time.
"With the 16's, we need him more as a scorer. With the 17's, we need him more as a distributor."
Simpson knows he needs to develop point guard skills and learn more about distributing the rock.
"Yes sir because everyone knows I'm not growing any further," Simpson states. "I've got to get ready for college. In college I'm going to be a point guard, so I have to get ready for that."
The 5'-10" standout played a wing for his undersized North Chicago team during the high school season. That's where the team needed him. Hopefully, he will play the point this winter.
"It's very different. Last year, my brother Michael was the point guard and I would just spot up. So now I'm trying to play more point guard to get a handle on it. I'm getting better every day."
Simpkins believes his young star has the attributes to be a quality point guard with time.
"It's not a struggle because he has a good feel for the game. He has good court vision. We've stressed upon him he's got to play point in college, and he's got to prove he can play point. It shouldn't be difficult for him.
"I know he can score. If he can develop into being a good distributor as a point guard, then it's gonna make his scoring even more valuable."
A problem for many shooting guards trying to transition to the point is learning when to shoot and when to set up teammates.
"He has the ability to score," Simpkins states without exaggeration. "I think since he's such a thorough scorer, understanding when to score and when to get everybody else involved, that's the tricky part of it. I would say he has a good feel for the game."
From Simpson's perspective, he is a team player who does what is best to help the team. More often than not, the team needs him to score.
"Yeah, they know I'm a scorer, so I have to take that into consideration and come out and score."
He thrives on pressure. He can get hot and hit several long jumpers consecutively. And he has the quickness to avoid most defenders.
"When my team needs me, I have to go out there. I have a scoring mentality. I go out there and give my all every day. Whatever Coach wants me to do, that's what I try to do. I also try to play hard on defense."
Simpson is humble about his shooting ability.
"I work hard. Every day I shoot a couple jump shots, and it works."
Simpson has drawn interest from a number of schools.
"Marquette, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue. Lots, but I can't name them all right now."
There will be many more if he can prove himself to be a competent point guard.