Five-star point guard Ayo Dosunmu is not only the future in terms of high-level players in Chicago, but he's also the present.
Morgan Park head coach Nick Irvin said there's no one better in the state after Dosunmu's 21-point outing against Simeon last Thursday.
"He's the best player in the state regardless class," Irvin said. "He's shown that time and time again."
Dosunmu's effort was not enough to take down Talen Horton-Tucker and the Wolverines, as his three-pointer at the buzzer missed off the rim in a 59-57 defeat. He didn't have his best game, but he made big-time plays down the stretch -- including three straight drives to the hoop (two and-ones) in the fourth quarter.
The 6-foot-3 scoring playmaker is coach's dream with his ability to handle, control the pace and fill it up. And the Illini have been dreaming that dream with how they've approached him in the 2018 recruiting class.
Illinois head coach John Groce and Paris Parham were sitting courtside at the game on Thursday. They continue to recruit Dosunmu as hard as anyone after being the first high-major program to offer in May.
"Illinois, they're at the top of my list," Dosumnu told IlliniInquirer.com on Thursday. "Seeing them here in this big game, that was nice."
"They've just been talking to me and saying I'm their No. 1 choice. I'm at the top of their list. That's pretty much what they've been doing. I talk to Coach P a lot. He comes up to see me a lot."
Dosunmu has been on the Illini campus twice for visits since being offered. Illinois watched him religiously on the AAU circuit over the summer, and they've been up to Morgan Park as well. That relationship is growing stronger by the month.
"They are a good coaching staff. They communicate with me. They talk to me before the games and all types of stuff," Dosunmu said. "Just knowing you're cool with a person, and I've got that vibe with them."
Assistants from Creighton, Northwestern and Xavier were also in the gym on Thursday. As for the recruiting process as a whole, Dosunmu isn't thinking about it too hard.
"Right now, I'm not really looking into my decision," he said. "I'm just focusing on winning."
And that loss to Simeon will make Dosunmu's inner fire burn even hotter. Especially when it comes to matching up with Morgan Park's rival down the road.
"Each and every day, I'm going to get after it. Each and every time, I'm going to take that shot I took at the end of the game. I'm going to make it," Dosunmu said. "I'm going to keep attacking. I'm going to work 10 times harder because I hate losing to them. Losing is not good at all. I'm going to do everything to make sure I never lose to them again."
Talk about a competitor and a talent that the Illini would die for.