Tracy Abrams Excites Illini With Commitment

The Fighting Illini basketball team is accumulating talent at an amazing rate. Four top prospects are already signed and will enroll fall of 2009. Three more are committed for the following year. And now comes word that Tracy Abrams, a tremendous sophomore point guard at Chicago Mt. Carmel, has promised to join the party.

Tracy Abrams is the top rated point guard in the state of Illinois for the class of 2011, and he is ranked highly nationally. He led his Mt. Carmel team to three straight upset victories in last year's Illinois high school basketball tournament as a freshman.

Abrams commented on his decision.

"I committed to Illinois today. I thought it was a good situation for me to become a better player. And I'd like to help win the NCAA tournament with players like Jereme Richmond and Crandall Head there."

Richmond and Head are among the top 20 players in the nation in the 2010 class, and both helped influence Abrams to join them at Illinois. Richmond has talked openly about a National Championship, and other top players appear to share his vision.

Now Tracy wants to do the same with some of his basketball buddies. He is an AAU teammate with outstanding players Mike Shaw of Chicago DeLaSalle, Wayne Blackshear of Chicago Curie and Sam Thompson of Chicago Whitney Young among others on the Mac Irwin Fire team. He would like to see some of them join him.

"I've been talking to them. That's all I can do is talk to them. Hopefully, they will follow me and we can all be Illini."

Tracy has outstanding speed and quickness. He has a great first step and can penetrate at will and finish at the rim. He plays his best under pressure and has great character. Recruiting analysts have compared his game with Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook among others. He is still young and has more to learn, but he has an extremely advanced skill set for his age.

Other players respect the 6'-1" dynamo and gravitate to him. He has a court presence that is exceptional. A talent like Abrams doesn't come around often. Thus, it would not be surprising if other top players join him eventually in selecting Illinois for their college.

The Mt. Carmel coach is Mike Flaherty, and he has been a friend of Illini coach Bruce Weber for many years. And Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard was the point man in Abrams' recruitment. While coaches are not permitted to discuss unsigned prospects, the big smiles on their faces at practice today spoke volumes.

Tracy Abrams thinks highly of his varsity team this year, so that is his immediate focus.

"We're 6-3 right now. We're getting better and better as the season goes along."

Abrams has had to share point guard duties with freshman Malcolm Hill-Bey. But all Tracy cares about is winning games.

"No, it doesn't effect me at all. It makes the team better."

Mt. Carmel will be participating in the Pekin Holiday Tournament after Christmas.

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