Kezo Next in Line?

Simeon Career Academy in Chicago has been the home of some of the state's most talented hoopers. Now, an incoming freshman is in position to continue that legacy.

Simeon has the tradition of winning championships and producing many high major prospects on the hardwood. The next freshman to make a name for himself on the Chicago basketball scene is 2018 guard Marquise "Kezo" Brown, and he incoming freshman has already taken a visit to Illinois.

Kezo Brown, a 6'1" combo guard, made his debut with the Wolverines recently at the Riverside Brookfield Shootout, where he not only played, but made an impact for a team that eventually won the championship. Although Simeon didn't have their full roster, Brown made it known that he is prepared to stay on the varsity roster, playing well next to upperclassmen D.J. Williams, Isaiah Moss, and Ben Coupet within the team.

Brown is a left-handed slashing guard that possesses a quick first step and bounce off the floor. He really likes to attack on the baseline. His quickness away from the ball was evident as he made crisp cuts to get open.

The 2018 prospect only took a few jumpers over the weekend, but showed good mechanics. Right now Brown is best in transition. He has great speed in the open floor and finishes with athleticism in the paint. Defensively he made an impact with his on ball defense and pressure on opposing guards.

We caught up with Brown to get his thoughts on his upcoming first year of high school basketball with Simeon.

"I am looking toward playing varsity," he said. "I'm looking forward to having fun. Playing with the team, one of the best with guys like DJ Williams, Zach Norvell, Josh Thomas, and Ben Coupet."

Simeon's legacy of recent elite players is unmatched in the state of Illinois as they have produced the likes of Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker in recent years. Brown looks up to those guys and hopes to follow in their footsteps.

"It is great because you get to know those guys," he said. "Like I met Jabari. He gave me words of encouragement and good advice. Derrick Rose I have never met him, but he is a great player and mentor."

Brown sees himself as a point guard down the line, but is willing to do whatever it takes for his team to get the win.

"I look for my teammates first," he said, "but I also look to score at will. I am a good passer and a great finisher."

This past season at middle school power Ariel, Brown teamed up with fellow top 2018 prospect Chase Adams to go 60-0 and capped it off with a city championship. During the spring and summer Brown is running with the Mac Irvin Fire 14U on the travel team circuit.

"We struggled a little bit," he admitted, "but we are starting to jell together now and are doing good."

Although he hasn't even taken a class in high school yet, Brown is receiving interest from the state's two Big 10 programs.

"I went on unofficial visits to Illinois and Northwestern," he said. "(Recruiting) is going great so far."

He visited Illinois for their game against Michigan State last season. It made a good first impression on the young guard.

"It was great," Brown said. "The fans were great and loud. It was a great atmosphere."

He noted that he enjoyed talking with former Simeon lead guard and current Illini floor general Jaylon Tate while on the visit. Brown told us what stood out most on his first visit to Champaign.

"Their fans are great," Brown said. "They showed them great love."

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