Kendrick Nunn played as a freshman for Chicago Simeon high school, but only briefly as the state champion was loaded with talent. He would be a starter for many teams but will likely ride the bench his sophomore year as well.
"I'm just waiting my turn. We've got a lot of seniors on the team this year. So when those people graduate, my time will be next year."
Simeon is likely the deepest team in the state this year, and maybe the most talented as well. Nunn is considered one of the top 2013 college prospects in Illinois, and yet classmate Jabari Parker gets even more attention. Coach Robert Smith is able to maintain interest in all his players.
"We have a deep team. Everybody on the bench can play. When he puts you in, just enjoy your game."
What makes Smith so successful?
"It's pretty fun playing for Simeon. Coach Rob, he's confident and he boosts our confidence so we can play ball well. He wants us to give 100% every time we're on the floor.
"He knows what he's doing at all times. He knows when to call timeouts. He'll keep your energy level up every time."
A player for Simeon must share the rock, play good defense and be able to run a half court offense. Smith prepares his players for college, and his sophistication puts his players a step ahead of other high school teams as well.
It used to be that Chicago teams were known for being run-and-gun, with lots of athleticism but little coaching. Nunn says that style is of little interest to him and his teammates.
"If you're just run-and-gun, a team that's just up and down, you're not well organized."
The 6'-2" guard has a great deal of potential. He describes his style.
"I'm aggressive, I play physical all the time on the floor. I bring my 'A' game every time. I'm a slasher and a midrange jump shooter. And I can shoot the three."
When Simeon played in the Ubben indoor facility at Illinois this summer, Nunn showed off his leaping ability by flying over the top of defenders for a resounding dunk.
"I love that."
Perhaps his biggest weakness is a lack of balance in his game.
"My left hand is very dominant. I always go left."
That is one of several things Nunn has been working on during the summer and fall.
"I've been working on my handles a lot. Getting everybody included in the game, my right hand, my defense. I've been working on my all-around game."
Nunn visited the Illini for Midnight Madness last weekend. He has been hearing from a number of colleges but hasn't begun to narrow his focus. He plays mostly shooting guard in high school, but he sees himself playing a multiple role.
"I will be a combo guard, both a point and a shooting guard. I can bring the ball up if I get a rebound or something, or when the point guard's not in."
Nunn plays AAU ball with Meanstreets.