Peoria's Next Great?

Let's face it - Peoria and Chicago have produced some very good basketball players over the years and it appears that trend will continue. Yesterday I watched the workout of possibly the next great youth to come from Peoria.

D.J. (Dietrich) Richardson is a 6-3 wing player class of 2009 attends Peoria Central High School. Richardson came on the scene last year when he attended a showcase camp in Chicago as an 8th grader. He was named Co-MVP along with some kid from the same bloodlines as the best player to ever play the game - Michael Jordan's kid.

Richardson was moved to the varsity right before Christmas, and he has more than held his own as a starter. According to his father, D.J., Sr., his son has received some letters from Illinois and Texas A&M. Because of his age coaches can't speak with Richardson, but Dad knows what they think. Jerrance Howard (a Peoria native and now assistant coach for Texas A&M) has his eyes on Richardson. But it doesn't stop there. Richardson has worked out with L.A. Clipper guard Shaun Livingston on many occasions. As a matter of fact this Friday when the Bulls take on the Clippers, Richardson will be Livingston's guest.

Watching this youngster workout with his AAU team (Peoria Irish) yesterday, I could see that the sky's the limit for this young man. Never should anyone compare players, kids or athletes, but leaving Peoria Notre Dame High School, I felt I had seen a very young former Bull - Scottie Pippen. In the open court he's amazing for a kid that young; every time he was near the basket he tried to use the glass and converted.

D.J., Sr. states that his son is young and knows the skills are there, but this summer they will work on all aspects of his game to make him better and also get him in the weight room.

This will be a player that Illiniboard.com will keep updates on during the summer AAU trail.


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