Simpson Signs with Illinois

Champaign, Ill.-Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber announced today the signing of Stan Simpson to a national letter of intent on the first day of the fall signing period.

Simpson is a 6-9, 220-pound forward/center from Chicago. He attends Simeon High School under the direction of head coach Robert Smith. Simpson transferred to Simeon this past summer after playing at Leo High School for head coach Noah Cannon. Simpson is also a member of the Illinois Warriors AAU team, coached by Larry Butler.

Simpson averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks last season during his junior year at Leo. He earned All-Catholic League honors, leading Leo to the 2007 sectional finals where the Lions were beaten by his current school in two-time defending state champion Simeon. Simpson was named special mention all-state by the Chicago Tribune and honorable mention all-state by the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA). He is rated a three-star recruit by and is widely considered one of the top two big men in the state of Illinois.

"We are excited to sign Stan and feel he will be a versatile big man for us with his ability to play both the power forward and center positions," Weber said. "His strength as a junior was more rebounding, shot blocking and scoring down low. He can score with his back to the basket and has worked hard on his skill development and post moves. In addition to his inside game, he is now starting to face up and can shoot it well out to 15 feet. He helped Leo have some success and now he is playing for a perennial power with Coach Smith at Simeon. Stan will benefit from the competition he'll face in practice each day and from playing in one of the top conferences in the nation in the Chicago Public League."

Simpson continues the proud tradition of standout Simeon basketball players selecting the University of Illinois. He will join a list of Simeon alums to attend Illinois that includes Nick Anderson, Deon Thomas, Bryant Notree, Ervin Small, Kevin Turner and current junior Calvin Brock.

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