- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Glenbrook North's David Weber didn't hesitate when offered the chance to coach the North Team at the 2010 Chicago High School Classic.
"Yes, I'd love to do it," Weber remembered saying.
Weber would likely have agreed under any circumstances, but this was especially intriguing to him. Coaching in Friday's boys' basketball all-star game at Loyola University offered him one final opportunity to coach his son, Austin.
"I'm looking forward to it," Weber said. "It's a chance for him to play and not worry so much about whether we're going to advance to the next round of the playoffs."
Father and son didn't advance as far as they wanted in the state playoffs as the Spartans were defeated in the sectional championship by Maine South, but it was a memorable season otherwise, and a lot of that had to do with Austin's growth as a player.
A year ago, Austin was a contributor and averaged 10 points per game. This season, he turned himself into a go-to player as he was one of the area's top 3-point shooters and averaged 16 points.
"He really progressed as a player, and that was fun for me to see," Weber said. "I never thought he could do what he did this year as far as shooting the 3. He had games of 10, nine, eight 3-pointers. I never saw a kid shoot like that. That was really fun to watch. I don't think anyone expected that."
Austin is still narrowing down where to play next season. Quincy is among the schools he's looking at. Weber, who is the brother of Illinois coach Bruce Weber, does believe some programs missed the boat on Austin.
"I think he was one of the most underrated players in the area his year," Weber said. "I think a lot of people disagree with me. I know what he can do. A lot of people said Jon Scheyer couldn't play at the highest level because he was too thin. I'm not saying he's Jon, but he's a very smart player."
Weber's North Team will include another Glenbrook North player, Alex Dragicevich. Dragicevich, who signed with Notre Dame, was fifth in the Mr. Basketball voting after averaging 21.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 rebounds in his senior year.
"It's going to be fun to have those two guys for one more time," Weber said. "They were two great scorers in high school basketball."
The North Team also will include Mundelein's Ben Brust (signed with Iowa); Foreman's Tommy Woolridge (Eastern Illinois); Hales Franciscan's Pat Miller (Tennessee State); Hyde Park's Fabyon Harris (Southern Methodist); New Trier's Alex Rossi (California); Foreman's Mike McCall (Saint Louis); St. Joseph's Wayne Simon (uncommitted); Riverside-Brookfield's Sean McGonagill (Brown); New Trier's Fred Heldring (William & Mary); and DeKalb's Jordan Threloff (Illinois State).
The South Team includes Springfield Lanphier's Karl Madison (Drake); Whitney Young's Ahmad Starks (Oregon State); Leo's Issac Smith (Eastern Illinois); Marshall's Vincent Garrett (uncommitted); Mount Carmel's Jon Gac (Loyola); Oswego East's Jay Harris (Valparaiso); Hillcrest's Eric Gaines (Kent State); Whitney Young's Anthony Johnson (Purdue); Champaign Centennial's Rayvonte Rice (Drake); Neuqua Valley's Dwayne Evans (Saint Louis); Thornton's Reggie Smith (Marquette); Simeon's Brandon Spearman (Dayton); and Wheaton Academy's Tim Rusthoven (William & Mary).
The Chicago High School Classic (chicagohighschoolclassic.com) begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be a slam dunk and 3-point contest at 6:30 p.m., and the Cook County Challenge, another all-star game, at 5 p.m.
"The event is unlike anything most high school basketball fans have seen," event founder Kevin Devitt said. "It's a mix of college basketball, NBA and a little bit of high school. It's so unique to watch and the atmosphere is just electric."
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.